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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Special Olympics Open Water Expands And Excels

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

As the Commonwealth Games remains one of the few international holdouts to offer open water swimming competition, the Special Olympics continues to develop its own open water swimming initiatives and programs around the world.

Intellectually disabled athletes from around the world continue to break down barriers as they venture pas the shoreline, proving that open water swimming can be a safe, competitive and challenging sport for all.

The first Special Olympics Ireland Open Water Swimming Championships were held last week in preparation for the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles.

Pam Beacom said, "Aisling Beacom was the only Irish swimmer eligible for 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games. She won a silver medal in the 1.5 km sea swim in the city of Marathon, Greece. Now we have lots of athletes to choose from."

Beacom from Wicklow Town was one of 126 athletes who represented Ireland at the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, Greece where she participated in both the 800m pool event and the 1.5 km sea swim.

It wasn’t the first time that Beacom had represented Ireland on the international stage. Through the Special Olympics Ireland’s Athlete Leadership Programme, she visited the United Nations in New York, participated in the RCP Tiburon Mile in San Francisco twice, and volunteered at the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games in China.

The legacy of open water swimming grows within the Special Olympics community. Photo shows Team Ireland swimmer Aisling Beacom with her bronze medal in the 800m freestyle with her brother Shane in Athens.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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