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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 23, 2017

Withrow earns medals at Special Olympics

By ALLYUS FRITZ/Ledger sports editor | Jun 27, 2014
Courtesy of: Brian Simmons Ronnie Withrow, left, stands with Team Iowa teammate Mitchell Betsworth before taking a cruise through New York harbor.

Fairfield’s Ronnie Withrow competed on at national level June 16-20.

Withrow received second place in bench press and fourth place in deadlift in the heavyweight division at the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games, which were held in Trenton, New Jersey.

Withrow, 35, was joined in New Jersey by Team Iowa teammate Mitchell Betsworth, 18, of Sioux City, and by Brian Simmons, his weightlifting coach. Overall, Withrow’s score placed him in fourth place in his division. Betsworth, 18, competed in a different weight class and finished up a few days prior to Withrow. He had success as well, and earned first, second, third and fourth place medals.

The opening ceremonies were held inside the Prudential Center, where the New Jersey Devils play hockey, in Newark. Model and actress Brooklyn Decker and the WWE wrestler known as Big Show were among the celebrities on hand to host the ceremonies. Over 3,500 athletes from all 50 states participated in the games.

“It was a great experience for Ronnie,” Simmons said. “The whole event was put on well and we got to do a lot of fun things.”

The athletes were able to enjoy various recreational opportunities throughout the week. Withrow and his 49 fellow Iowa athletes were able to enjoy a cruise around New York harbor, a minor league baseball game and even a trip to Princeton University.

Withrow has been involved with the Special Olympics for many years. His performance at the Iowa games gave him the opportunity to compete in New Jersey.

“Our expectations going in was for Ronnie to do the best he could,” Simmons said. “He wanted a medal and to get a silver was really fantastic.”

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