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

Three Greater Victoria schools claim climate awards

Awards handed out by British Columbia Sustainable Energy Association

Tips from BC Ferries for travelling this Canada Day long weekend

Tips from BC Ferries for smooth sailing this Canada Day long weekend

Field named for longtime Hampton Little League volunteer

‘Curt Waldner Field’ recognizes years of dedication put in by former little league dad

Saanich honours lifetime of conservation efforts

Mary Haig-Brown wins environmental award for 40 years of extensive volunteer work

Sidney lowers flag to half mast in honour of former fire chief

Mel Baldwin died June 21 at the age of 83; served Sidney Fire for 46 years

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

WITH VIDEO: Two endangered marmots released on Vancouver Island

With three new pups born in May, two more Vancouver Island Marmots… Continue reading

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Two bear cubs saved near Revelstoke after mother hit by car

Conservation officers trapped the cubs and transported them to a wildlife sanctuary

Heroism medal for B.C. woman who tried to save wheelchair-bound man stuck on rail tracks

Julie Callaghan awarded Carnegie Medal from U.S.-based foundation for ‘extraordinary heroism’

Most Read