Special Olympics holds summer games

Published 5:02 pm Friday, July 1, 2016

by Ethan Smith

The Area 29 Athletes recently competed in the Aquatic (Swimming) Competition at the Special Olympics Virginia 2016 State Games. The swim meet was held at the Collegiate School Aquatic Center in South Richmond.

On Friday, June 10, Kavelle Martin took Gold in the skills competition events 25M floatation device and 25M assisted swim.

Ethan Smith of Isle of Wight took home gold in the 50M backstroke. -- SUBMITTED

Ethan Smith of Isle of Wight took home gold in the 50M backstroke. — SUBMITTED

This is her first year swimming out of the shallow pool. Michael Norman took gold in the 25M freestyle and silver in in the 25M backstroke.

On Saturday, June 11, Ethan Smith won the silver in the 50M breaststroke, silver in the 50M freestyle and gold in the 50M backstoke. Jorden Jarratt took home the gold in 100M freestyle and bronze in the 50M backstroke. Ian Wolfe won gold in the 25M breaststroke, 50Mback stroke and 50M freestyle. Kelsey Byrd took gold in the 100M freestyle and 50M breaststroke, and silver in the 50M backstroke. Jesus Godinez won the silver in the 25M freestyle, gold in the 50M freestyle and 4th place in the 50M backstroke.

After a much needed rest and food, the athletes joined their friends, family, coaches, volunteers and fellow athletes for the dance at the Robin Center at the University of Richmond.

On Sunday, the athletes said their goodbyes until next year and reflected on the 2016 Special Olympic State Games. All the participating athletes were asked what they liked best about the state games.

“I’m so excited to have been able to swim my very first event in the big pool,” Martin said.

Smith added, “I liked competing and then going to the dance.”

Wolfe said, “I loved spending time with my friends and meeting new friends.”

Jarratt said, “I liked spending time with my friends at the hotel and the dance. In addition, I’m really proud to get a gold medal in the freestyle.”

Byrd added, “I liked coming back and winning the 100M freestyle and seeing all the service dogs.”

Godinez said, “I liked hanging out with the team and watching the fireworks at the opening ceremonies.”

Now the athletes will take a break before starting the fall season. Their Area 29 Fundraiser fishing tournament will be held in Franklin on Saturday, July 16. If you don’t like to fish, come out to Barrett’s Landing from 1 to 5 p.m. and listen to some free music by Louis Waymore and meet some of the Area 29 athletes.

For more information, visit the Three Rivers Bass Tournament Series Facebook page.