Local swimmer earns berth on national team

FORT FRANCES—Fort Frances swimmer Alex Parent has made the Canadian national swim team and will compete at a world competition in South Africa later this year, bringing the 17-year-old one step closer to his dream of competing at the Paralympics in Beijing, China in 2008.
“I was pretty shocked. I wasn’t really expecting it,” Parent said last night of the news.
The young SWAD (swimmer with a disability) swimmer recently returned from the U.S. Paralympics national championships in San Antonio, Tex., where he achieved three personal best times in the 100m free, 100m backstroke, and 50m free events.
It was partly as a result of those times that Parent made the Canadian national team.
“It was based on what rank you were overall in the meet,” he explained.
The 24-person national team will compete in the International Paralympic Committee World Swimming Championships in Durban, South Africa from Nov. 27-Dec. 12.
“That’s amazing. It’s unreal,” Parent said of travelling to Africa.
But such an important meet will require a lot of training and hard work, admitted Parent, who lost a leg above the knee as a child to the same type of cancer that first afflicted Terry Fox.
“I already have a training camp for the end of the month [in Calgary],” he noted.
Parent said he’s unsure what will happen following the world competition in South Africa, but stressed his long-term goal remains to compete in Beijing two years from now.
(Fort Frances Times)

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