Our Athletes

Special Olympics Helped Samantha Conquer a Fear

My daughter was afraid of the water. With the help of Special Olympics, she has become a swimmer who loves the water. That's not all.

My daughter's name is Samantha and she has autism. She was so afraid of the water that getting into a pool was very challenging. I had the opportunity to get her involved in swimming with Special Olympics Florida. With the help of the coaches, she felt encouraged and lost her fear of swimming.

She now has two favorite sayings that say a lot about what she has achieved. One is, "Anything is possible if you try," and the other is, "Different not less."

Every time she gets in the pool she feels free, relaxed, confident. She believes in herself in way I could not have expected.

In Special Olympics she has found a big family, with many people cheering for her. She has also made friends. By being so involved in my daughter's swimming, our family has grown closer.

As her mom, I have learned to appreciate the little things in life. It's been just three years since she started taking part in Special Olympics competitions. Samantha is now training and competing in soccer, gymnastics and cheerleading. Special Olympics is the best thing that has happened to her and our family.