Maddox brings gold medal home from World Summer Games




From Staff Reports


Stockbridge equestrian Jennifer Maddox can now add the words “medal winner” to her athletic accomplishments, thanks to her triumphs as part of Team USA during the Special Olympic World Summer Games in Los Angeles.



Davina Ford and Jennifer Maddox receive certificates of achievement from the Henry County Board of Commissioners. Special photo


Maddox, won a gold medal in equitation, a silver in dressage and a bronze in working trail.

Maddox, the only Equestrian Division athlete from Georgia to compete at the World level, received certificates of achievement from the Henry County Board of Commissioners Aug. 18, along with her Special Olympic coach and unified partner Davina Ford. Commissioners congratulated Maddox for her achievements, and for proudly representing Henry County and Georgia at the World Games.

For the equitation competition, Maddox rode in a pattern given to her upon her arrival at the Games. The dressage competition required Maddox to ride in a pattern called out to her by her coach, and the working-trail competition she was able to create her own pattern for the walking-trail event.

Maddox has worked toward competing in horseback riding at the World Games since 2000. In the weeks leading up to the event, she called it “my biggest accomplishment in my time at Special Olympics Henry County” – that is, until she won the medals. She can now count herself as one of the select group of athletes to have represented Henry County at the World Games over the past 40 years.

Maddox joined the Henry County Special Olympics in 2003, playing softball and basketball and has represented Henry County in the organization’s Fall Games since 2006. Maddox joined equestrian competitions at the county level in 2010, at the Calvin Center in Hampton. She has competed in a number of statewide competitions over the last seven years, garnering a bronze medal in doubles tennis and a silver medal in singles at the state summer games.

In addition to equestrian events, Maddox participates in alpine skiing, tennis, bowling and kayaking. She credits her faith with helping her to reach her goals.

“When I struggle with being nervous, I pray and God gives me the strength,” Maddox says.

Approximately 7,000 athletes from 177 different countries competed at the World Games. Maddox recently told The Henry County Times that she was honored by the opportunity to compete on the world stage. More than 200 athletes in Henry County participate in five statewide competitions for the Special Olympics.

Ford, a Therapeutic Recreation Specialist for Henry County Parks and Recreation, also served in the Games as an assistant coach in kayaking. She helped kayaking athletes secure two gold, two silver, two bronze and two fourth place medals at the event.

For more info on the Henry County Parks and Recreation Department’s Therapeutic Recreation Division, log onto www.henrycounty-ga.org/ParksRecreation/TherapeuticRecreation.