Members of Special Olympics Oceanside celebrate their performance at the Comox Valley Invitational Swim on March 5. (Erin Edwards photo)

Members of Special Olympics Oceanside celebrate their performance at the Comox Valley Invitational Swim on March 5. (Erin Edwards photo)

Special Olympics Oceanside swimmers make big splash at Comox Valley meet

Athletes happy to be competing again

Members of Special Olympics Oceanside are happy to be competing again.

They took part in the Comox Valley Invitational Swim Meet on March 5, the first time they’ve been able to compete since the COVID-19 pandemic began, forcing events to be cancelled.

“The Special O swim team has shown resilience as they have had to deal with the consequences of the pandemic,” said Erin Edwards, SOO spokesperson. “They have had to deal with pool closure and when they did get to compete finally on March 5 the swim meet was restricted to an audience of caregivers and coaches.”

The Parksville Qualicum Beach members pitted their skills against swimmers in the Comox Valley, Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Powell River and Vancouver.

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Ashley Thompson and Mark Blasco crushed some of their qualifying times to finish in the top three in their respective races. Coach Judy Button had to use qualifying times from swim practices as their 2019 records were outdated.

Thompson won gold in the 25-metre breaststroke and took silver in the 100 free. She also tallied two bronze medals in the 100 breast and 500 free. She also placed fourth twice in the 50 breast and 50 back.

Blasco posted three second-place finishes in the 500 free, 50 back and 100 back. He just missed the bronze in the 200 free.

Amanda Stewart also took home two medals, a silver in the 50 butterfly and a bronze in the 50 free.

Stephanie Button had a great swim in two events and came close to landing a bronze when she finished fourth in the 25 back. She also placed fifth in the 25 free.

The Oceanside SOBC is moving to spring sports that include bocce, softball, track, golf, and soccer. And they need more volunteers and coaches for upcoming sports. Also their teams have room for more athletes.

To find out more contact: Barb McLeod sobcoceanside@gmail.com

— NEWS Staff, submitted

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