Canada Games was most definitely one of the best experiences of my life. I am grateful that I was given the opportunity to compete at the Games, and I would like to thank everyone who worked so hard to make it such an amazing time.
Being a part of such a large and supportive team was incredible, and I hope that it is not the last time that I get this opportunity. I believe that the entirety of the swim team was able to step up and perform when we needed to, and those watching made for incredible support. I was lucky enough to have won eight medals in total (5 gold, 1 silver, and 2 bronze) and have been the flag bearer for Team BC at the closing ceremonies, but I know for a fact that, had the team not been such an incredible group of people, that this would not have happened.
I think that the most important thing that I learnt during the games is that no matter what, you and your teammates need to have each others trust and be watching each others backs. The swim team most definitely had this relationship, but I think that beyond that, every single member of team BC felt part of a family at the Games.
My favorite experience of the games was watching Jesse Shade, one of our Special Olympics teammates, swimming in a final one night, and winning by a huge margin. The amount of energy that the whole team felt in that moment was unreal. I believe that seeing the rest of the team perform at such an incredible caliber made me realize that, despite not having the typical trademarks of one, swimming is really a team sport. I think that it was a humbling experience that will forever shape my personality, in and out of the pool. I was very proud to have carried the flag for Team BC, but even more proud of the team that followed directly behind me at the closing ceremonies.
Every member of that team, as well as all the volunteers and organizers, made Canada Games an experience that I will cherish forever.