Krista McNallyJul 19, 2018, 2:31 pmJul 20, 2018, 6:57 am

Gold-winning Special Olympian honored in Old Bethpage for recent successes

Angel Athenas is also recognized for inspiring other differently-abled athletes

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OLD BETHPAGE — One athlete got a hero’s welcome Thursday after taking home several gold medals in the 2018 Special Olympics.

Angel Athenas is a power lifter in the 2018 Special Olympics in Seattle. She took home four gold medals and also broke the women’s dead lifting record at the New York Special Olympics competition. Her trainer John Ponte says it was no easy task.

"We’re there at least two-and-a-half hours a day. Angel works very hard on weight training and various different things," Ponte said.

On Thursday, she was honored by state, county and local officials. All of them recognized her for her amazing athletic ability and showing the word that being differently abled does not mean one is not able.

The people at the Family Residences and Essential Enterprise facility were happy to have her as she was an inspiration to all of them.

Athenas has this advice for anyone who participates in the games:

"Have fun, and that’s what I do in Special Olympics. Make a lot of friends and just have fun with my friends. Good sportsmanship is always the right thing to do," Athenas says.

Athenas is now training for the World Special Olympics games which will be held in Abu Dhabi March 2019.

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