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Special Olympics gold medallist Rosalind captures town hearts

Winner of the Portradown Person To Be Proud Of award, Rosalind Connolly, front, pictured with back row from left, Hamilton Brown, Asda, Portadown, Gordon McConnell, High St. Mall, J.P. Rice, Specsavers, Portadown, Linda Martin, Magowan West, Councillor Paul Duffy, Rosalind's nomnator, and Alistair Bushe, Portadown Times editor. INPT09-224.

Winner of the Portradown Person To Be Proud Of award, Rosalind Connolly, front, pictured with back row from left, Hamilton Brown, Asda, Portadown, Gordon McConnell, High St. Mall, J.P. Rice, Specsavers, Portadown, Linda Martin, Magowan West, Councillor Paul Duffy, Rosalind's nomnator, and Alistair Bushe, Portadown Times editor. INPT09-224.

Portadown has a new Person to be Proud Of, with 19-year-old Rosalind Connolly polling the majority of the 500 votes cast.

Rosalind, who lives in Woodside Green, was the favourite choice out of a total of 21 local people nominated.

Other nominees who polled strongly were postman Eddie Drury, who is involved in local drama and community work, and Catherine Lyness, who has raised around £80,000 for research into Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome, which claimed the life of her son Stephen on his 18th birthday.

Rosalind, the daughter of Margaret and Anthony Connolly, skied her way to a gold medal at the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games in South Korea.

Despite it being her first time competing on the world stage and on real snow, she recorded an impressive time in the novice final of the Super G event.

Rosalind, a member of Ski Ability NI, which meets weekly at Craigavon Ski Slope, travelled to South Korea as a member of Team Ireland, along with fellow athletes Ryan Hill, from Richhill, and Lucy Best from Lisburn.

On hearing the news of her latest ‘win’, her mum Margaret said the whole family was delighted.

“Councillor Paul Duffy had told me he was nominating her but I knew there was a lot of competition,” she said.

“I want to thank everyone who voted for her, the sponsors and all her friends from Ski Ability. Anybody who wants to attend Ski Ability is very welcome, whatever their disability.”

Rosalind joined Ski Ability when she was six and represented Ireland in the Special Olympics. Her mum and dad are both volunteers with the group, which meets at the ski slope on Monday night .

 

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