Ashley Adie competes in backstroke (left) as well as freestyle through Campbell River Special Olympics.
For Special Olympic athlete Ashley Adie, participating in sports is more than just part of an active lifestyle, it also helps maintain a positive outlook.
“I don’t know where I would be,” Adie said. “ [Special Olympics] gives me something to look forward to.”
Adie first got involved when her family moved her to Campbell River from Prince George in 2003. The sport she wanted to participate in wasn’t available so she tried swimming instead and fell in love with it.
In mid -July she competed in the BC Summer games, finishing third in two of her five events.
One such finish was she beat the fourth place swimmer by less than a second.
“Me and the fourth place girl we couldn’t tell who beat who,” Adie said with a laugh. “We were debating it afterwards.”
During the regular season Adie is in the pool two days a week. While she was preparing for the summer games she was training three or four days a week.
As well as swimming Adie bowls, plays soccer, competes in track and field and snow shoes. Around here snow shoeing is lots of dry land training and driving up to the mountain on weekends.
Her accomplishments of note include last year’s Maximum Effort award from Campbell River Special Olympics. She said she felt honoured. It had been a tumultuous year and to be recognized for her perseverance was humbling.
This year she received the Most Improved for track and field in recognition of taking on the 800 metre and improving her time as the season went on.
At Provincials in 2005 she won four gold medals and one silver medal in her swimming events, and in the 2006 BC Winter Games she brought home two bronze and a silver in swimming.
More recently, in a swim meet this past April she placed top three in three of her six events.
Despite her successes, a the end of the day being a part of the Special Olympics gives her a reason to get out of the house and be social.
“I’ve developed such a new network of friends and acquaintances and developed good relationships with the coaches,” she said.
Though she usually attends the Howie Meeker Golf Classic, this year she will be attending a childhood friend’s wedding back in Prince George.
“I gave my friend heck for planning it for that weekend, but she’s like sorry,” Adie said with a laugh.