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 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

Trans ID Clinics provide folks with pro bono legal advice

Free info sessions for people looking to change their name, gender marker on their identification

Oak Bay is the second-least dangerous community in Canada according crime index

Victoria and Esquimalt ranks 32nd in Canada, 9th in British Columbia

Plant-based pizza restaurant to open its doors in Victoria this December

Virtuous Pie has locations in Vancouver, Toronto and Portland

Esquimalt council approves building, dog areas for Gorge Park

$7 million in funding for waterfront improvements goes to multipurpose building and dog park

PHOTOS: Trangender flag raised for first time ever outside of B.C. Legislature

Nov. 20 marks Transgender Day of Remembrance, honouring those who have been murdered

B.C. politicians view supermodel’s transition journey on Transgender Day

Liberal MLA Jane Thornthwaite and New Democrat MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert appear in the documentary

POLL: Do you plan on making any purchases on Black Friday?

We’ve all seen the images. Shoppers rioting outside of a store in… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

1898 Yukon gold rush photo featuring Greta Thunberg look-alike sends internet into tailspin

Jokes erupted this week after a 120-year-old photo taken by Eric A. Hegg surfaced from archives

Distracted driving tickets not for ICBC revenue, B.C. minister says

Minister Mike Farnworth calls SenseBC analysis ‘nonsense’

CN Rail strike and lack of trucking alternatives stoke forest industry fears

Companies calling on the federal government to ‘do everything in its power’ to end the strike

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveils new Liberal cabinet

Pivotal role in his new cabinet for a minority-government era goes to Chrystia Freeland

B.C. woman puts call out for 10,000 personal, heartfelt Christmas cards for the homeless

Christmas Card Collective enters into third year of making spirits bright

Most Read