Saanich swimmer Aly White won three gold medals

Swimmer pulls in eight medals at BC Summer Games

Special Olympics swimmer looking to do five kilometers of the 70-km Cowichan Double this summer

Aly White can recall when she first arrived in Canada at five years old. She wasn’t just afraid of swimming, she didn’t even want to wash her hands. “I was petrified.”

The stressful condition had a lot to do with the orphanage she came from, says adopted mom Ingrid White of Saanich.

Now 27, Aly has long overcome any fears she ever had with water and has blossomed as an accomplished swimmer, thanks to the opportunities made available through the Special Olympics.

The freedom of the water gives Aly a break from the symptoms of ADHD, as she finds clarity and a better state of mind.

“I would be in the pool 24-7 if I could,” Aly says.

“It’s a huge difference,” Ingrid says of seeing how far her daughter has come.

White hauled in eight medals (three golds, four silvers and a bronze) at the recent Special Olympics division of the B.C. Summer Games in Nanaimo. It was a surprise despite winning three medals at last year’s B.C. Special Olympics in Abbotsford, her first provincial meet.

In Nanaimo, White won gold in the 50m freestyle, 100m individual medley, and 50m butterfly, silver in the 200m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 100m backstroke and 50m breaststroke, and bronze in the 50m backstroke.

“I was not expecting eight medals,” Aly says. “Even though I was sitting in (medal) spots for the swims we had to wait all day for the final results, just in case (someone) was disqualified, which does happen.”

In fact, it happened to Aly, as she might have won a ninth medal but she pulled her arms too low during the breaststroke.

“The officials are very precise,” Ingrid says.

Aly is busy working as a leader at youth summer camps with the Emmanuel Baptist Church at Cedar Hill Cross and Henderson roads, and is back training often with the Special Olympics at Crystal Pool.

“It’s important that my coach Sara Ozog was so hardcore. She pushed me, and I think that’s what some special athletes need, is to be pushed a little more,” Aly says.

Judging from Aly’s breakout in the water in the last 12 months, she’s the one doing the pushing.

Back in February, White outdid everyone, swimming 162 laps (25 metres each) in an hour and 20 minutes during the Special Olympics fundraiser at Crystal Pool.

“It was all the time we had and I was just getting going,” Aly jokes.

The long distance effort earned her notice from Susan Simmons, the local marathon swimmer who conquered the 34-km length of Cowichan Lake with swimming partner Alex Cape.

Simmons has since come on as another coach for Aly, and she is planning to join Simmons and Cape for a five-km leg of the duo’s Cowichan Lake double attempt on Aug. 22, a 70-km swim that will last overnight Aug. 22 and 23.

reporter@saanichnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Wind warning in effect for Greater Victoria

Strong winds could reach up to 80 km/hr along coastal areas

Whisky society commits to charity donation in wake of whisky raids

Refund of Victoria Whiskey Festival tickets won’t impact charity beneficiaries

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington for the day

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, “high avalanche danger”

Cordova Bay group against plaza redevelopment

Cordova Bay shopping centre has three, four-storey buildings

Victoria housing provider launches crisis prevention program to combat homelessness

Pacifica Housing aims to address challenges before tenants risk evictions

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Touring art from war-torn Syria on display at Cedar Hill

Behind the Lines: Contemporary Syrian Art, Jan. 24 to Feb. 5 at Cedar Hill Arts Centre

Vessel washed ashore in Campbell River during last night’s storm

A vessel appears to have gotten loose and washed to shore on… Continue reading

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

WHL winning streak ends at four in Kelowna for Victoria

Royals lose 8-4 as Rockets explode offensively

Wind warning back in effect around Vancouver Island

80 km/h winds expected Saturday, Jan. 20, on east coast of Island, 100 km/h on west coast

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

Most Read