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Utah Special Olympians Win 24 Medals at World Games

Utah Special Olympians Win 24 Medals at World Games

Posted - Jul. 8, 2003 at 5:40 p.m.



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Sammy Linebaugh ReportingUtah's Special Olympians are back from the World Games in Ireland with stories to tell and a hefty 24 medals among them.

News Specialist Sammy Linebaugh spent the day with one athlete who showed us his secret to success. On makeshift parallel bars built by his dad and brother, Chuck Hastings has become one of the best Special Olympic gymnasts in the world. And he has the medals to prove it.

Chuck Hastings: "I threw my arms up in the air and said yeah, I won!"

Not once, but three times. Last month the 29-yearold took three weeks off from his job at Deseret Industries to travel to Ireland where he medalled in all three of his events at the World Special Olympic Games.

Like any athlete, getting to the podium took a lot of practice. After work every day Chuck would go home and hit the parallel bars, sometimes spending hours getting his routine just right.

Jean Hastings, Chuck’s Mother: "He'd practice and practice at least a couple hours a day, in the morning, after work, then he'd go before he'd go to bed at night."

Still, Chuck says he went to Ireland content simply to compete never dreaming he would come home so decorated.

Chuck Hastings: "A lot of my teammates from gymnastics were cheering for me, way to go Charles, way to go."

Charles Hastings, Chuck’s Father: "I was really hoarse at the end of that."

Jean Hastings: "I go yeah, yeah Chuck. I got out the camera and I must have snapped several pictures before he even got through."

Chuck Hastings: "When I went to the track venue one time there were like about 30 kids, came up and asked for my autograph and stuff."

Now that he's home, he's got some pretty cool stories to tell about his summer vacation.

Chuck Hastings was one of 12 Utah athletes selected to compete in the World Special Olympic Games. Congratulations, to all the competitors.

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