Special Olympian returns from USA Games with four medals

For the ProgressJuly 10, 2014 


John “Craig” Dillaplain brought home four medals from the aquatics competition of the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games held in Princeton, N.J., in June.

He earned a gold medal in the 4 x 25-yard medley relay, a silver medal in the 25-yard backstroke and bronze medals in the 50-yard freestyle and 50-yard backstroke.

Dillaplain, a Belleville resident who has worked at the O’Fallon McDonald’s Restaurant for more than 20 years, competes in the Special Olympics through the Belleville PTOEC. The 41-year-old swimmer has competed in the Illinois Special Olympics since 1986.

This year’s Special Olympics USA Games were the largest national games ever undertaken. Nearly 3,500 athletes competed in 16 Olympic-style team and individual sports. The athletes were supported by 1,000 coaches, 10,000 volunteers and an anticipated 70,000 spectators. Team Illinois sent a delegation of 52 athletes, 6 Unified Partners and 17 coaches.

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