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2011 Pan Pacific Para-Swimming Championships Wrap-up

Team USA wrapped up the Pan Pacific Para-Swimming Championships with 69 total medals to finish second overall in the medal count just behind Australia with a total of 76 medals.

I went to Edmonton and swam decent, although it wasn’t exactly where I wanted to be at this point of the year. Being a year out from the 2012 Olympic Games, I wanted to make sure I was faster than I was last year at the World Championships. I felt a little under rested and not as strong in the water as I had hoped for. This past year, I have been training extremely hard, pushing my body to the limit, harder than ever before, so I am sure that this was a factor as well. I know that I am getting stronger and I learn from each swim meet that I participate in. I continue to work with my coach on my training to strengthen and perfect my swimming technique for the 2012 Paralympic Games next year in London. All in all, I did go a best time in the 50 Meter Freestyle and re-instated my American and Pan-American Record and was about a half second off my personal best times on all of my other events. I will be traveling to Brazil in October and will keep everyone posted on my progress.

Wrap-up: Canadian Para-Swimming World Challenge

Last weekend I got to compete in the Montreal World Challenge. It was a huge honor to be invited and compete at this invitation only swim meet. There is a blind swimmer from Canada that gets to invite 7 other blind swimmers to race in 1 event for a cash prize. I was invited to swim and compete in the 100 Meter Butterfly. I swam a great time for this part of my season. I took first place in the event and took 4 seconds off my life’s time best. I also got to compete in 4 other events: 100 Meter Freestyle, 100 Meter Backstroke, 50 Meter Butterfly and the 50 Meter Freestyle as well. I set a new Pan-American Record, an American Record and a lifetime best in the 50 Meter Butterfly. The two highlights from this meet were winning the 100 Meter Butterfly and setting the 2 New Records in the 50 Meter Butterfly.

It was a great time and the Canadian hospitality was outstanding. Everything was taken care of from the moment I stepped off the plane to the moment I left including ground transportation, hotel and meals. It really felt good to feel like we had a purpose to be there and people wanted us to swim fast and not worry about everything else, thus allowing us to focus on swimming and doing our best. I think that this swim meet, the bringing together of both Paralympic and Olympic swimmers under one roof is a great model and one I hope that we can implement here in the USA.

Until next time….

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