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HomeNewsThree Muskoka swimmers preparing for Special Olympics Ontario Spring Games

Three Muskoka swimmers preparing for Special Olympics Ontario Spring Games

Three Muskoka swimmers could be 25 metres away from athletic glory but it’s what they do out of the pool that matters most to them. 

Elizabeth Albrecht, Courtney Moreau, and Shannon Rodie will compete as part of the Central Ontario team at the Spring Games in Waterloo. The event runs from May 23 to 26. 

Cathy Janke, who has been coaching swimmers in Muskoka for nearly 20 years, says it’s a privilege to help these athletes. “They have improved their strokes dramatically over the past few years,” she says. 

Janke explains the trio qualified last year through regional competitions across Central Ontario. 

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Before the Games start in a few months, she says they’re looking to raise $834 for each athlete to cover the required fees and buy new swimming gear. 

When not in competition, Albrecht, Moreau, Rodie, and their 20 teammates train at the Bracebridge Sportsplex. 

“I’ve seen them grow and it brings me pride to see where they are now,” she continues. 

Albrecht is the youngest of the three at 21. She has been part of the team for five years and will be competing provincially for the first time. 

“I’m not really that nervous,” she says, adding she just wants to jump in and go. 

What Albrecht says she enjoys the most is being able to meet new people and be part of a team. In her short time on the team, she says she’s proud of what she’s accomplished and the friends she’s made. 

While Albrecht is new to the team, Moreau and Rodie have been swimming with the Muskoka chapter of Special Olympics Ontario for a while. The pair are both in their 30s. 

“It’s like having a bunch of brothers and sisters,” says Moreau, who is an only child. “It feels good being part of this team.” 

Moreau’s mother Elizabeth Seddon-Moreau will travel with her to Waterloo as one of the swimming coaches. 

Rodie says she’s part of the team to honour her late mother who passed away years ago from cancer. 

“She was a princess,” says Rodie. 

Albrecht and Moreau are short-distance swimmers while Rodie prefers long-distance races. 

“I’m a swimmer,” says Rodie. “That’s all I know.” 

A regulation pool is 25 metres end-to-end and Rodie says some long-distance races can see her go back and forth as many as eight times. “I just keep my head down and swim,” she says. 

Albrecht and Rodie agree making friends and being part of the team is their favourite part but Moreau starts to say she loves competition but stops herself, smiles, and says “both.” 

Central Ontario is one of seven regional teams taking part in the Spring Games. Along with swimming, athletes will compete in basketball, 10-pin bowling, and rhythmic gymnastics. 

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