Claudius Shipley is our Special Olympian medalist who earned himself a Gold medal in 2015 at the world games held in Los Angeles, USA. He is a 100M and 200M runner who is currently in Abu Dabi in Dubai representing our Dominica in Athletics along with another six (6). He earned himself a second Special Olympics medal; – this year a Silver medalist. This guy called Moo-moo (a derogatory term given to people with the inability to speak) is both hearing-impaired and unable to speak, yet is very high spirited. I have known him for most of his life and have seen him move from a boy to a man.
Claudius, who grew up with people like Roosevelt Williams (The Calypsonian – Mighty Mico), and Josephat Williams (Dayfar now deceased), was generally empowered to be independent. Claudius could go to the shop like any other child and return home with the correct items. One lady exclaimed that she always wondered how he did it. His adopted family genuinely cared for him even if they were not blood related. The late Mrs. Justin Williams, – (mother to both Mico and Dayfar) would have been so very proud of Claudius, and what he is doing today. She would be awestruck at the countries he has been able to travel to, and the strength of the young man he has turned out to be. I believe Claudius would dedicate his medals to this simple woman who sacrificed much for him.
The point is, one must not ignore the background of the successful stories around us. The woman was not his mother, but she cared for him and loved him like he was her own blood. She further taught her own children to love, protect and care for Claudius, that even after her passing, they continued doing so at best.
I do recall that Dayfar before passing from this life, made efforts to ensure that Claudius had a safe and comfortable place to live. This is commendable and testament to how much they valued him when they lived.
Apart from his obvious prowess at his sport, which is what launched him into the Special Olympics, he is truly a warm and friendly young man. He hugs, shakes hands and always seeks to engage people he knows when he encounters them. He is very helpful too, and seems to believe in himself a whole lot. In other words, I think Claudius’ confidence is quite high and contributes to the remarkable person he is today.
Another wonderful characteristic of Claudius is that he is very strong physically. I mean seriously strong. I have watched him hoist heavy pews at our local church with other men, and lift cargo down at longhouse especially post Hurricane Maria. He is always ready to give a hand when it is needed. This is why I am not even surprised that he is so successful in his special Olympics events.
He is a winner on and off the world-stage, and we are thrilled to have him belonging to us in these parts. On that note, we extend heartfelt love and encouragement to Claudius Shipley and the other Special Olympians and extend a warm welcome back home to them when they return.
We have special achievements laden in the differently-abled citizens like our Claudius. We are proud of his achievement in yesterday’s (Tuesday 19th March, 2019), 100 meters race in Dubai.
We also of course must extend kudos to the Dominica Special Olympics team and administrators, and the work they continue to do with their clientele.
Hopefully, further investments will be made into the lives of our specially and differently -abled individuals of our nation. They deserve all the opportunities that the rest of us have and can embrace, and they lift the status of our nation whenever they go abroad. The rest of us must also be more accommodating of them in various walks of life when we encounter them. They are people too and deserve the best of it all, like all of us. Thumbs Up to the SO Dominica!
Claudius received special recognition from Digicel after returning from Special Olympics 2015 as a Gold Medalist. On the extreme left of the photo is Josephat “Dayfar” Williams the late, who was like a big brother to Claudius.