Special Olympics’ golden girl

Saanich swimmer snares nine gold medals at B.C. Summer Games Special Olympics

Aly White struck gold - and lots of it - at the B.C. Summer Games Special Olympics in July.

Aly White struck gold - and lots of it - at the B.C. Summer Games Special Olympics in July.

Aly White wasn’t expecting to leave the B.C. Summer Games Special Olympics with nine medals, let alone gold ones.

The Saanich swimmer swept the competition in nine events of the July games, all while nursing an ankle injury she’d suffered just a week prior. White, who has ADHD, twisted her foot from a fall off a horse during a session of equestrian vaulting.

“She sprained her ankle really badly and we weren’t sure if she was going to be able to go,” said White’s mom, Ingrid. “We got her to physio. She limped all the weekend, but she was fine in the pool.”

Even with the sprain, White excelled in the water, taking the women’s 50m freestyle, backstroke, butterfly and breaststroke; the 100m freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and individual medley; and the 200m freestyle.

“I just got in the zone. I tried my best – maybe I tried a little too much,” said White with a laugh.

White said she enjoyed the challenge of the butterfly and picked out the 200m freestyle as one of her favourite races, as she’s more accustomed to long-distance swimming.

“[Sweeping the competition] was one of my goals, but I didn’t think it would happen this time,” she said. “After I was done, I was like, ‘Wow, I actually got all gold. I don’t know what to do.’”

Not bad for someone who initially had a fear of water when she first came to Canada.

“When I adopted Aly from Romania, she was petrified of water,” said Ingrid. “As soon as I could get her used to water, I tried to get her in a pool. It took a little while, but now you can’t keep her out of the water.”

“It’s addicting,” said White with a smile.

White thanked her coaches for pushing her and helping her improve to her current level. The nine gold medals from this year’s Games add to her 2014 B.C. Summer Games medals, which include three golds, four silvers and a bronze.

“It’s important to have the right coaches that know what they’re doing and how to improve for strokes and turns and starts,” said White.

Following her exceptional performance at the B.C. Summer Games, White is looking to get back in the water this August – this time at Cowichan Lake for a 10-kilometre swim.

And while she may have a disability, White said she’s not letting that weigh her down.

 

“Everybody has a gold medal in their heart,” she said. “Everybody can do it.”

 

 

Just Posted

Rachel Rivera (left) and Claire Ouchi are a dynamic art duo known as the WKNDRS. The two painted the new road mural at Uptown. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Artistic mural at Uptown brings creativity, fun to summer shoppers in Saanich

Road installation the largest of its kind in Greater Victoria

Kathy and Doug LaFortune stand next to the new welcome pole now gracing the front entrance of KELSET Elementary School in North Saanich. LaFortune completed the piece after suffering a stroke with the help of his wife and son Bear. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
KELSET school in North Saanich unveils welcome pole on National Indigenous Peoples Day

Carver Doug LaFortune completed pole with the help of his son, wife after suffering a stroke

Victoria police continue to look for missing man Tyrone Goertzen and are once again asking for the public’s assistance in locating him. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police put out another call for help finding missing man

Tyrone Goertzen, 33, was first reported missing June 4

Colwood council is looking at potential summer weekend closures to traffic of a section of Ocean Boulevard at Esquimalt Lagoon, to allow for more of a park-like setting during summer events such as the popular Eats & Beats event, shown here in 2018. (Black Press Media file photo)
Mayor lobbying for summer weekend closures of beachfront Colwood roadway

Rob Martin to bring motion forward to June 28 council meeting

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

Bernadette Jordan addresses the media following a swearing in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on January 14, 2019. Jordan says the government will provide $2 million to allow First Nations to continue to strengthen the marine safety system across Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
First Nations receive federal funds to purchase marine rescue boats

Quatsino, Heiltsuk, and Kitasoo First Nation’s among eight across Canada to receive funding

Most Read