Jinshan District, CHINA. October 2, 2007. — Michael Simms has played bocce for 20 years. He hasn’t let the fact that he doesn’t have full use of his left arm stop him. And his disability didn’t stop him from deftly using chopsticks at lunch, today, just hours before the 2007 Special Olympics Games officially got underway in Shanghai.
Michael – who proudly tells anyone who will listen that he is from Llandilo Phase One, in Savanna La Mar – is just one of the 69 members of the Jamaican team that made the long journey to China to represent their country in a variety of sporting events. The games run until October 11.
The athletes, their coaches and the large number of local volunteers were in high spirits when Jamaica’s Ambassador to China, Wayne McCook, and a delegation from the Caribbean Association in China (CAC), caught up with them during lunch at their hotel today.
In addition to today’s visit, CAC members plan to attend a number of events in order to cheer on Caribbean athletes. “We felt so proud meeting the group today,” said CAC president Nicoleen Johnson. “We saw how happy they were and how well they were adjusting to the Chinese culture, with some of them even knowing a few words in Chinese already. It was inspiring.”
About the CAC:
The CAC was started on April 1, 2007 by a group of regional nationals living in China who felt the time had come to establish a Caribbean network and to build an awareness of the Caribbean region in China. The Association works closely with, but independently of, Caribbean countries’ Embassies in Beijing to promote and foster the Sino-Caribbean relationship, provide a support network for our nationals here, as well as engage in charitable work aimed at benefiting the needy in China and the Caribbean.