SPECIAL OLYMPICS WORLD AQUATIC EVENT
PUERTO RICO SEPTEMBER 2012
We were all very excited when we heard that Shauna had been selected to represent Great Britain at this event, but I don’t think anything could have prepared us for the enormity of it all and the emotion we all felt.
29 countries took part and I can’t tell you how proud we felt when we saw Shauna leading out the GB team at the opening ceremony. The opening ceremony was full of music, synchronised swimming, diving and dancing. The local police lined the pool and the police motorbikes entered from both sides of the pool with sirens blaring and lights flashing, which was a prelude to the entry of the Olympic flame, a very emotional moment.
Our first GB swimmers swam the next day in their prelim rounds, Shauna swam in the 25m fly getting a personal best time, which was not what we really wanted at this stage as she had to swim her final in one of the fastest groups, we thought well even if she does not win she already has achieved a personal best time, however she did not disappoint us the next day coming 3rd in her final, getting the bronze medal. By this time her dad and I had no voice left as we had been cheering for every member of the 15 strong team.
The next day Shauna did her prelim for the breaststroke and did 50m in about her usual time, and was put into the second fastest group for her final which was to be the second last race of the whole event, in the meantime she had 4x50m freestyle relay to take part in and GB had some tough opposition from Texas USA, Puerto Rico, Costa Rico and Panama. However the girls did well and Shauna now had another bronze medal to add to her collection.
Sunday 16th September was the last day of the event and Shauna’s last race, we had an agonising wait as she was not on until almost the end of the day. It was worth waiting for, she did a perfect dive and on the first length was in 3rd, but on the turn she just went for it, I don’t think I have ever seen her swim like that, she soon passed the person in 3rd and was right on the tail of the eventual winner. Not only did Shauna get a silver medal but she got a personal best time.
All 15 members of the GB team got at least one medal and some like Shauna managed 2 or 3, in all I think we got 8 gold, 10 silver and 8 bronze.
To everyone at Liverpool Penguins, parents, swimmers and coaches a huge, huge thank you, your support has been most appreciated. We are very proud of Shauna, be we are also very proud to be part of a club that is so supportive and see the swimmer not the disability.
Margaret & John Hogan