Athletes celebrate Special Olympics victories

As athletes from Special Olympics Stanly County prepare to leave for state competition this week, recent victories by local athletes are still celebrated.

Nearly 300 Special Olympics athletes from North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee competed in the 2024 Special Olympics Southeast U.S. Swimming Invitational at Greensboro Aquatic Center on April 27.

Special Olympics North Carolina (SONC) athletes competed from the following programs: Alamance, Buncombe, Caldwell, Carteret, Craven, Davidson, Forsyth, Guilford/Greensboro, Guilford/High Point, Harnett, Iredell, Lake Norman, Mecklenburg, New Hanover, Onslow, Orange, Stanly, Surry and Wake.

To ensure fair competition, athletes were placed in competition divisions. Gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded to the top three finishers in each division and ribbons were presented for fourth through eighth place. This event was sanctioned by USA Swimming, the National Governing Body for the sport of swimming in the United States. Certified USA Swimming officials officiated the meet.

Athletes from Stanly included:

• Jesse Edwards, 25y Kickboard Race, Gold Medal; 25y Freestyle, Silver Medal;

• Brian David, 50y Backstroke, Gold Medal; 25y Freestyle, Gold Medal;

• Jonathan Martin, 25y Backstroke, Participation Ribbon; 25y Freestyle, Gold Medal;

• Marie Steele Waksmunski, 25y Kickboard Race, Gold Medal; 25y Freestyle, Silver Medal

• Justin Watkins, 50y Freestyle, Gold Medal; 25y Freestyle, Gold Medal.