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

Island Health, service providers meeting to talk about used needles in Victoria

Recent public needle-prick incidents prompt call to reduce number of needles found

Dozens rally outside Premier’s office for sick Sooke boy

Six-year-old Landen Lanthier needs $19,000 a month to treat rare form of arthritis

Announcement for Sooke Road improvement expected this week

Premier promising ‘preliminary’ work, with more on the way

Victoria airport reaches nearly two million passengers in 2017

This year expected to see additional growth

Community rallies behind Sooke boy with rare condition

Dozens called on government to cover cost of drug for six-year-old Landen Alexa

Body discovered in burnt out car near Trail

Police report a body was found in the burnt out trunk of a 1999 Honda Civic

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

Wanted by Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers for the week of Jan. 16

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

UPDATE: Friends mourn boy, 15, killed in Vancouver shooting

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

Butchart Gardens is hiring now and paying more

Wages start at $15, job fair Feb. 20

Most Read