Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be in the Olympics? Recent Indian Hill graduate swimmers Rachel Travis and David Tripathy don’t need to wonder – they’ve been there, done that, thanks to the Ohio Special Olympics! Ohio Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and competitions for individuals with disabilities. Both swimmers made it to the State competition, and both intend to make it to Nationals.
David started participating in the Ohio Special Olympics five or six years ago. He received his first gold medal in 2011. He has a total of 33 medals: 31 gold and 2 silver, including 8 golds in State competitions! He qualified for State beginning in 2014, and has qualified ever since.
Unlike David, Rachel only just began participating in the Ohio Special Olympics in the fall of 2015. “David had been asking me his whole life,” Rachel commented, “And then he mentored me when I finally did.” She qualified to go to State for the summer games in June, and received first place medals for both of her events.
To train for these highly competitive games, the two had a practice every Saturday. Besides that, both exercised in various other ways, including rehearsals for competitive swim team at Indian Hill, and even weight-lifting and other exercises. The training may have been long and hard, but it was worth it! Both David and Rachel raved about how many friends they made through the Olympics. David remarked that while yes, they made friends with the competition, they were considered “good rivals.” When prodded for further explanation, he explained, “Bad rivals are just bad situations. A good rival is still a rival for your sport/race, but you are still good friends with each other.” Rachel said, “Even though we were competing, it was easy to make new friends.” Overall, everyone was incredibly encouraging and supportive of each other, even when they were competing for the same medals!
Both Rachel and David have already begun training for this upcoming year’s Special Olympics competition. They are very excited to be participating another year, and have high hopes for what lies ahead of them. Wish them luck!
story provided by Indian Hill Living intern Natalie Brady