A Drumheller athlete will be representing the province this year at the Canada Special Olympic Games.
Michaella Clark will be making her third appearance at the national competition in the pool. She is a sprinter and although she competes in most strokes, her key events are freestyle, backstroke and butterfly.
Clark, 34 will be leaving for the games this coming Monday morning to compete from July 13-17 in London, Ontario. While she has been training hard, she is most excited about experiencing the games.
“I am excited, just to be going there,” said a jubilant Clark.
This is her first trip to London, Ontario, and she is looking forward to seeing the swimming facility. Outside the pool she is looking forward to reuniting with other competitors, meeting new friends and of course pin trading, a tradition at the games.
Clark is going into the games well decorated. She competed at the 2002 games in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and won three bronze medals and one silver. At the 2006 games in Brandon, Manitoba she won two bronze and one silver.
“I am going to do my best, I am going to go for my personal best and show good sportsmanship and a good attitude,” she said.
She loves the spirit of friendly competition at the games and understands she might not be the best in the pool, but that is what will make her better.
“It’s going to give me a challenge, and I like a challenge,” she said.
Clark has been swimming for about 11 years and is a member of the Red Deer Special Olympic Team, simply because there is no Special Olympic swimming team in Drumheller. She has joined the Aquadinnies and has swum for two years with the club, where she trains every other day. She is excited for her teammates Austin and Parker Knibb who are competing at the Alberta Summer Games.
“The coaches here are amazing, I have learned so much,” she said.
She is also grateful to the Royal Purple in Drumheller that have supported Special Olympic athletes in the valley, and have even helped with some of the costs associated with training.
Her goal is to compete for Canada, but to do that; she needs to win some gold medals at the National games to qualify. The World games are in Athens in 2011.
Those wanting to follow Clark’s progress can log on to www.london2010.ca to see results from the competition.