The focus of attention for many of the Special Olympics GB team (SOGB) has been on the pool in Wezenberg. After a strong performance on Monday, there was further expectation that Tuesday would be another good day.
With medals already in he bag for SOGB the team looked even more confident as each of them stepped up to compete. Confidence can play a major part in sports, especially in an individual discipline such as swimming where there are no teammates to blame or places to hide.
Able Magazine was poolside to watch the action and the atmosphere was not only hot and humid but intense. The shouts and squeals from the spectators, many of whom are athletes cheering on their fellow competitors, seem to echo and bounce and certainly rise in volume as favourites surge for the finishing line. Perhaps it’s a different set of sounds for the swimmers themselves as they only periodically lift their heads out of the water for a quick breath before plunging on – maybe it just sounds like whale music once they’re beneath the surface.
Because of divisioning, where swimmers are ranked and compete in ability groups, there are plenty of tight finishes and that, of course, means more manic squealing from the gallery. Nevertheless, nobody is ever left behind and it has become a warmly welcomed tradition that as the last swimmer kicks for home they’re greeted as a champion in their own right, hailed with cheers and applause. Everyone wins.