Swim star boosts Spe­cial Olympians’ morale

StarMetro Toronto - - TORONTO - Mor­gan Campbell SPORTS REPORTER

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.