Swim star boosts Special Olympians’ morale
Midway through a 90-minute training session at the University of Toronto, a group of Special Olympians climbed out of the pool to sing happy birthday to Olympic swimming star Penny Oleksiak, who led Wednesday morning’s practice. Oleksiak recently moved her training base to Gainesville, Fla., but returned to Toronto for a densely-scheduled week that included events with her main apparel sponsor, Asics, time with family and friends, and her 18th birthday. But the four-time Olympic champion Penny Oleksiak, middle, gives some tips to Nathan Kim, right, and Victoria Mcdonald, left.
Olympic medalist carved out time for an early-morning clinic with five Special Olympics swimmers from the GTA.
Like Oleksiak, the Special Olympics are celebrating a milestone — this year marks the 50th anniversary of the inaugural competition. For Special Olympics Canada and its athletes, the year culminates
with the national Summer Games, which take place July 31 to Aug. 4 in Antigonish, N.S.
And for Oleksiak, the clinic provided a chance to lend her expertise and profile to the Special Olympics’ ongoing efforts to make sport more inclusive.