I had a lot of fun attending a practice session with some local Special Olympics swimmers. Â These men and women were stoked to pose for portraits - and some of them really hammed it up. Â I look forward to working with them again! Some more background from their coach and my good friend, Carey Bertolet:
Michael is a really accomplished swimmer--he's Brooklyn's best competitor. Â He went to the State Games this past year--he goes a lot actually as he has been active in the organization a long time. Â Everybody in the organization knows Michael. Â He competes in the 50 m free and 100 m freestyle and has tons of medals from the regional and state special olympics meets. Â Michael and I race across the pool once during every practice and he's tough to beat! Â He's also a really good bowler.
Oluu is sort of the baby of the group--he's still a teenager (he's 18 or 19) which makes him younger than the other regulars. Â He keeps his mom super busy taking him to swim practice and the million other activities he's always involved in around town. Â Oluu is probably one of my 'most improved' over the past 1 1/2 year.
Michael and Oluu both live at home. Â The other guys you met--for the most part--live in group homes throughout Brooklyn. Â Frantz and James are both musicians--they play in a band Melodic Soul. Â Frantz is a total ladies man and James is hands down the hardest worker on the team. Â They both compete in events at the Special Olympics Aquatics meets and both have won a bunch of medals. Â It probably is worth noting that Frantz always knows the name of every girl that's in the room.
Jill lives by herself and works 5 days a week for the Board of Ed.