-  Swimming -

I took my first swimming lessons at the age of five and progressed through all 10 levels of the Red Cross children’s program. I joined the Special Olympics Swim Club in Red Deer at the age of 16. The next spring I joined the Innisfail Dolphins and won my first bronze medal in local competitions at Ponoka. This year I earned my spot at the Canada Summer Games. This was held in Sherbrooke, Quebec, the experience was fantastic. You have to make qualifying times to compete alongside regular athletes in Quebec as a Special Olympian. It went well,  I was fifth for the 50 and 100 m Back, fifth for the 50 m for the 50m Breast and 9th and 11th for the 100 m and 50 m Freestyle. Overall I came out as fifth in my category.

My focus is to train hard for the Nationals in Vancouver, July 2014, for which I qualified last February. The good thing, I know now how my competition is and what times I have to make to get to the medals. From there I hope to compete at the International Special Olympics competition in Los Angeles, 2016.

Originally I’m from the Netherlands, my family moved to Canada when I was 1 years old; we lived 11 years in Red Deer and now live in Innisfail. My sister Tessa and brother Jelle also have been enrolled in the ASDC Central a couple of years ago. They were in it for Speed skating and Volleyball.

I’m grateful I made ASDC as well and I’m looking forward to  great work outs  and overall gain more knowledge, that will help me to be a better athlete. I’m a big fan of the United States swimmer Michael Phelps, who has won more Olympic medals than any other athlete in history including 11 gold medals at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

I also play Kayak Water Polo at the Innisfail pool with the Cottonwood Kayak Club, another sport that I really enjoy. Furthermore, I’m with the Cross Country Runners and the Track and Field Club at Notre Dame High School.

Swimming is my favourite; I enjoy Individual Medleys, Freestyle and the flip at the end of the lane, a manoeuvre that I like to improve together with my start.