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Rutland's Fredericks takes gold at Special Olympics

Last October, almost 7,500 Special Olympics athletes displayed their skills for the world in the largest sporting event of the year. The 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games a world-class sports event, where athletes and fans came together for 11 days in Shanghai, China. One hundred and sixty nine countries were represented at the world summer games. Henry Fredericks, a Rutland native, was able to participate in the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games. Fredericks, an employee of Rutland Plywood, was also privileged to have his boss Jack Barrett attend the games. Only two Vermonters were able to travel to China and compete. Fredericks and his girlfriend Jeanie Mangieri were chosen. After a 22-hour flight, the couple arrived for the competition. Before heading to China, Fredricks trained in Nashville Tenn., for a week. The entire USA team consisted of 41 members. Fredericks has participated in Special Olympics for 38 years; he has more than 30 medals to his credit. He also took the gold medal in 2006 for Vermont in the Italian lawn game called bocce. In the 2007 World Summer Games, Fredericks took the first place gold and second place silver in bocce ball. Fredericks said,"It was greatthere were a lot of people there and I couldn't believe I was there. "The best part of the trip was meeting different people; we were treated like kings," he said. Fredericks coworkers were supportive of his world games efforts; collectively, they made a $1,000 donation to Special Olympics. Fredericks hopes that Rutland Plywood Co. willbuild a bocce court at the lumberyard so he and coworkers can practice an denjoy the sport during breaks.

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