A group of talented GB athletes travelled out to Berlin as part of the Special Olympic World Games this week. Amongst them were two badminton players – the male player being Ethan Orton, the Welsh 22 year old athlete.
Ethan would be representing GB in two events – the mens singles and the mixed doubles.
Ethan started playing badminton at his local club in Brecon when he was 12.
It didn’t take long for his commitment to start paying off, and by 2016 he was winning medals at the Badminton Wales 4 Nations events (silver in doubles, bronze in singles), the national Special Olympics events (gold in doubles) and had achieved his Badminton Wales leaders award.
In 2017 he was selected as part of the Welsh team to go to Sheffield and compete, where he again brought home gold.
Ethan has continued to play in his local community since then, and has been diligent in his training. In 2019, just before the badminton calendar was locked down, Ethan won gold in singles and silver in doubles at the Welsh Special Olympics tournament. Ethan was also selected as the torch bearer for this event due to his excellent sportsmanship and love of sport.
To attend the Special Olympics Summer Games in Berlin was the culmination of years of work – Ethan and his partner battled through some ferocious opposition. They won their final game 23-21, which secured them silver at this prestigious event.
Ethan has been an incredible role model within our sport, and we are so excited for him to continue to thrive in years to come.