Raymond Blackadder wins gold at the Special Olympics
Raymond Blackadder is the proud owner of a gold medal from the 2018 Special Olympics National Games, held in Adelaide last month.
The 26-year-old, who works on the waste management team at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, was one of 1000 Australian athletes with intellectual disabilities competing in 11 sports.
Playing for NSW in soccer, Raymond competed in two rounds before a nail-biting final against Queensland ended in a draw.
But, voted in as captain by his teammates for the final match, he put his ankle injury aside to lead them to victory in extra time with a 3-2 win.
Raymond's brother, Jason, also took out gold in his soccer round, giving their mother, sisters and nephews, who had all travelled to Adelaide to watch them play, plenty to cheer about.
"They were very proud. We were crying and hugging after the match."
Raymond (pictured third from left) has worked at RPA since 2012, originally placed with us through JobSupport.
He rises at 2.30am each day to travel by public transport from his home in Ingleburn to Camperdown for a 6am start. And he's rarely missed a day.
"You can't keep him away," says manager Ivan Gibson.
For now, his gold medal is safe in a drawer at home and he's considering competing in the next national games in 2022 - as long as it doesn't involved another plane journey.
"I had a lump in my throat twice - once going over and once coming back. I do not want to do that again."