Jordan Spieth – a friend of Special Olympics and whose sister Ellie was born with an intellectual disability 14 years ago – may have just spectacularly won the US Masters at Augusta National on Sunday. However, he would be very proud, as we are, of two Special Olympics GB golfers taking on their own Masters challenge in Macau this coming week.
A team of two GB golfing athletes based in Surrey – Mikael Undrom (pictured left) and Michael Lines (right) – will be attending the Special Olympics Golf Masters in Macau from 20th – 25th April.
Head of Delegation for this competition is Elsie Undrom, supported by coach Sally Lines.
Mikael Undrom is an all-round sportsman, he is 27, has Down’s Syndrome and has lots of gold, silver and bronze medals and a whole cabinet full of other trophies!
Before first meeting Mikael, people might find it’s unbelievable that someone with his disability could achieve so many athletic and sporting accolades in just seven years since first competing seriously with Special Olympics GB.
However, once having met him, many say that they are deeply inspired by his positive attitude for life. Mikael and his family believe his involvement with Special Olympics has been the single most life-changing opportunity for him and for countless others with intellectual disabilities.
Mum and coach Elsie said: “I am very proud of him but had no idea how talented he is. He has made so many lovely friends and his confidence rocketed dramatically when he became involved with Special Olympics.”
Mikael has represented Great Britain in skiing in the Winter Special Olympics in South Korea as well as in golf in Austria and Macau.
Mikael’s incredible energy means he fits in many other interests around his busy training schedule including working in a local restaurant , volunteering in a day centre for the elderly, oil painting, athletics, bowling and playing football.
When asked to comment on his astounding life achievements Mikael just says with his cheeky grin: ” I just love to make people laugh and help them be happy.”
Mikey Lines is 26 and also going to represent Special Olympics GB in Macau. He is classically autistic and has been training with the Special Olympics for six years.
Mikey loves his golf, ten pin bowling, skiing and kayaking.
He represented GB in ten pin bowling in Germany’s 8th Special Olympics National Games – where GB were invited to take on the hosts. The GB team of four players took on 150 German athletes and came away with all the top medals in singles, doubles and team events.
Mikey got two gold medals and a silver in the top division. He has also achieved the highest average score in the country during the National Games in ten pin bowling in 2009 & 2013.
His love of sport is helping him to learn strategies which help him in everything he does in life.
Mikey’s Mum Sally says: “Communication is one of the biggest problems for him but this has improved massively since being part of the Special Olympics GB.
“Probably because he is focusing on something he can do and is good at which has taken the pressure off some things he finds difficult. It has also given him so much more confidence.
“Twenty years ago when he was diagnosed with Autism his future looked very bleak. I am so grateful to the Special Olympics who have given Mikey the chance to be part of a team, make friends and open so many doors.
“It’s amazing how motivated he is and how hard he concentrates. Being a part of Special Olympics has truly been life changing for Mikey.”