MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The “2022 State Special Olympics West Virginia (SOWV) Swim Competition” was held at the Aquatic Center at Mylan Park on Oct. 16 and began at 10:45 a.m.

About twenty-five athletes ranging in ages twelve and up competed from Hancock, Kanawha, Mason, Monongalia and Tucker counties. Each athlete has been training for at least eight weeks to compete in the first “Special Olympics swim competition” since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The swim competition is usually held within’ the Olympics’ “Summer Games” that are held in May, but with the pandemic still on-going and somewhat coming to an end, the directors decided to do it in October for the first time at Mylan Park. The Aquatics Center was more than happy to host them.

While discussing why it is important to have events like this for those with disabilities, Wendy Miller, SOWV director of sports and training, said, “our athletes do not always get the opportunity that everyone else gets, and so, Special Olympics is about giving those people will intellectual disabilities and opportunity to exceed in sports, and to be apart of a team and do everything that everyone else does. You know, if you’ve been an athlete, through school or before. You know what it’s like to be part of a team and to be able to excel and show your skills and learn new ones. And that’s what special Olympics is about.”

SOWV offers competition in 15 different aquatics events, ranging in distances from 10 meters to 100 meters, and featuring all strokes. On Sunday, both men and women competed in:

  • Developmental – 10m Assisted Swim, 25y Floatation, 25y Freestyle, 15y Floatation, 25y Breaststroke, 25y Backstroke, and 25y Butterfly
  • Traditional – 50y Backstroke, 50y Breastroke, 50y Butterfly, 50y Freestyle, 100y Freestyle, and 100y Individual Medley
  • Relay Team Events – 4×25y Freestyle Relay and 4x25y Medley Relay

When photos and results are posted, you can find them here, but if you are looking for updates, click here. The Special Olympics Swim Competition will return again next year.