Justin was even picked to hold up the banner for his delegation--Way cool! He was thrilled!
Each athlete is allowed three events for Special Olympics and as there were ~400 athletes, that was a wise idea. I was quite impressed with how quickly and smoothly each event was started, done and completed with the award ceremony swiftly following to keep things running well and on time.
His first event was the 25m backstroke and he did quite well. He earned a silver! YAY He beat his best recorded time by 10.46 seconds. That's my guppy!
It seems that when athletes do better by more than 25% of their best recorded times--which are recorded by their coaches during practice-- they are then disqualified. Justin was too fast and did much better than he should have done to remain un-disqualified. ( I don't think that's a word, but just go with it.)
"He got disqualified for one tenth of one second???" Tom kept saying in stunned disbelief. It was rather amusing!
Justin's third event was 25m freestyle and we were worried he'd do too well on this one, too, being it was his best stroke. Justin shaved off a whooping 22 second off his best recorded time. Oh, yeah, disqualified.
|Disqualified but happy as a clam|
When explaining why Justin had done so well, Doug, the husband of coach Sue Ann said, "Well, they get here and the kids are stoked, they're excited and all that adrenalin is bound to make them do better!"
That must be true, because Justin was so excited and happy to be there, even with his two honest effort ribbon and one silver metal.
But after his too backstroke events, he didn't say they were hard at all. That's gotta tell you something. He finally has this race swimming thing down. Special Olympic has done wonders for Justin, and not just with swimming. He has gone bowling and skiing with them as well.
This Friday they are having a swim-a-thon to benefit Special Olympic area P. Justin is all jazzed to do this and has a few sponsors so far. More are welcome to pledge a nickle, dime, quarter or dollar for each lap Justin does. Fair warning, at last practice he did about 24 laps and we all know what happens when Justin is jazzed! So, if you ever have a couple of extra dollars in hand and you wish to make a difference in the world of a "special" person, consider donating to Special Olympics.