The Swift Current Aquatic Centre saw a big event make a big splash on Sunday.
The Special Olympics swim meet saw teams from all over Sask. and Atla. come out for the competition, and featured competitors of all ages. They were competing in one of the four qualifiers for next year's provincial games. The top prospects will be advancing, which gets them on the trail to the next Special Olympic Games.
Helping run the event was Jackie Powell, coach for the Swift Current Special Olympic Swim Team.
"It's going really well," said Powell. "We've got, despite the fact that it's a qualifier, a good range of events from 50 metres all the way to the 400."
These athletes worked hard to beat personal bests, lap times, and overall to have a fun, healthy competition.
All of it can cumulate in an Olympic performance at the height of the sport.
"Swimmers that are competing today will earn a spot to compete at provincials next year and then potentially earn a spot to go to nationals the following year and then, potentially, the world games the year after that," mapped out Powell. "It's a four-year cycle that we have and this is the start of that process."
The event was also full of family and friends who drove out with athletes, and those who came along to show support. They were able to cheer, encourage, and motivate the swimmers as they pushed through the water.
Another fun element was the 50/50, which instead of tickets ran off rubber ducks. The ducks each had a number, that when you bought into the 50/50, was tossed in the regular pool adjacent to the Olympic pool.
Once the totals were tallied, they called out the winning duck number, which belonged to Maria Bergerman, who was attending with her mother Lynne Bergerman.
Also in attendance was Swift Current Olympic Gold Medalist, Tyler Servant.
Servant is competing again to see if he can achieve a second Olympic run, as he seems unsatisfied with only one Olympic Gold to his name.
Powell encouraged others to get involved in the seen, or any other sport. Not only are the physical aspects good for health and well-being, but the mental aspects of setting and achieving goals are also great for the individuals. These competitions highlight those aspects.
"It's a great opportunity to show off the work that they've done," said Powell. "When they beat their time, they're getting a little token that they get to pick. There's motivation for them to do better than they did last time."