Suffolk Olympians end swim season

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 23, 2005

When the Suffolk Special Olympics swim team got started, there were three swimmers and a few parents. Now, three years later, there are about 50 swimmers and numerous parents, coaches, friends and fans. What began as a single-sport program has grown to include golf, volleyball and bowling, all of which will begin over the next few weeks – and more might follow soon.

On Sunday night, the swimming season ended with a pool party at the Suffolk YMCA. It was a season that included a trip to the state games in Richmond last month, one that brought home over 20 medals.

&uot;I learned the backstroke and the freestyle,&uot; said Kristen Dodds, 21, a graduate of Western Branch High School. &uot;It’s fun. It’s good exercise for your muscles. I made a lot of friends.&uot;


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That was one of the best parts of the program, said Mary Howard, whose daughter Becky swam on the team.

&uot;She had a lot of fun,&uot; Howard said of her daughter, who can’t speak because of a developmental disability. &uot;She got outside of herself. She’s fairly outgoing in her comfort zone, and this helped her comfort zone get larger. She’s becoming more assertive. She gets my attention more.&uot;

Spencer Holt, 24, got the team’s Most Improved honor.

&uot;That was cool,&uot; he said. &uot;I liked getting in the water. I saw a lot of people. I can’t wait to have fun again.&uot;

Neither can secretary Lynn Robinson.

&uot;I thought the program was really good,&uot; she said, feasting on a cake that a local Wal-Mart had donated for the occasion. &uot;I was really impressed with it. It was exciting seeing the athletes really get into it. It was a great experience.&uot;

For more information on upcoming programs, call Clark at 287-7156.