Smithfield residents medal in national Special Olympics games

Smithfield residents medal in national Special Olympics games

Smithfield residents, from left, Ryan Clough, Alyson Lagreca and Scott Hopkins traveled to New Jersey in June for the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games. Lagreca served as assistant head of delegation for Team Rhode Island, while athletes Clough and Hopkins took home silver and gold medals, respectively.

SMITHFIELD - Two Smithfield residents representing the town and Rhode Island earned medals at the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games, an event held every four years.

Scott Hopkins won gold with his flag football team, while Ryan Clough won silver as part of the baseball team.

Accompanying them on the trip to New Jersey in June was Smithfield resident Alyson Lagreca, who served as assistant head of delegation for Team Rhode Island.

The team participated in 10 different sports and took home 13 gold medals, 15 silver medals and five bronze medals, Lagreca said.

Each of the 79 athletes, coaches and partners who participated in the week-long competition were nominated for a spot on the team by a family member, coach or friend, she said.

Athletes and coaches then spent six months training.

Lagreca, who works as director of recreation and social services at the J. Arthur Trudeau Memorial Center in Warwick, said it was an honor to be able to attend the games.

"It was probably one of the most amazing weeks of my life," she said. "It was great to see everyone come together as one team and represent Rhode Island and compete."

Having athletes earn top spots was a bonus, Lagreca said.

"It was the greatest feeling in the world," she said. "They deserve to be showcased as America's champions."