East Toronto’s Andie Hang wins four medals at World Dwarf Games in Germany

Local resident Andie Hang, 7, with the silver medal she won in relay at the World Dwarf Games in Germany this summer. Hang won four medals at the games. Photo: Submitted.


Athletes from across Canada, including East Toronto’s Andromeda Hang, began their quest for gold in the largest international sports competition exclusively for people with dwarfism that took place from July 28 to Aug. 5 at The World Dwarf Games.

In identical fashion to the Olympics, the games take place every four years in an elected host city and initially began in 1993. This year’s games took place in Cologne, Germany.

Hang, who goes by Andie, is a seven-year-old Canadian athlete. She was born with one of the most common forms of dwarfism called achondroplasia. The condition affects the growth of the long bones resulting in shorter limbs. This year was her very first time participating in the World Dwarf Games.

During the games, she won a total of four medals. One gold medal was won in basketball, a bronze medal in soccer and another in bocce and a silver medal in the relay race she took part in.

Andie said her favourite sports to play are badminton and bocce. Hang’s mother Kate mentioned how her daughter had first gotten into playing these sports in the first place.

“We practiced at home mostly. She plays on the East York baseball team but then she also did a few practices for some sports for little people. A lot of it was just getting into it and trying it out,” said Kate.

The best part about playing sports in general and at the games according to Andie was getting the chance to meet new friends and competing against other little people.

Some of the challenges she faces by being an athlete, according to her is that “the nets in basketball are still sometimes higher,” she said.

Additionally, Andie mentioned she would always have to use lower equipment and likes how the basketball net she uses at home is adjustable.

“In Germany, they did get to play on lower tables and equipment but some of the nets were still quite high,” added mom Kate.

Throughout her journey in sports and being an athlete, Andie said she has received support from her family, friends and coaches. Coach Scott, who was her basketball and soccer coach, did a lot of training and practice with her and came with her to Germany for the games.

“My family was always there to help me practice and clapped when I scored a goal. My coach would always cheer me on, too,” she said.

The people she looks up to the most in sports are her friends Sydney and Jeremy who are also on Team Canada and played with her and participated in the World Dwarf Games.

Andie said she enjoys working together with her team, winning games and earning medals. She said she has also gained networking skills by making new friends.

The advice she would give to other little people who wish to play sports is telling them that playing sports is very fun and there are a lot of different sports they can choose from to play.

In the future, Andie is aiming to participate in the next World Dwarf Games happening in four years in Australia. To prepare before that time comes, she will be practicing and perfecting her skills in different sports with her friends and other little people. She also hopes to win a gold medal in swimming come the next games.

Kate said she is very proud of her daughter and seeing her accomplish all that she has so far.

“I feel so lucky to be a part of her little person community and to watch her make friends. As the parent of a girl, I want her to grow up confident, and to love herself and see herself as sporty. The World Dwarf Games was such an important part of that,” said Kate.

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