USA Paralympic Swimmers
I cannot begin to describe the joy of being a swim coach who is involved with
disabled athletes. To set the record straight, the term "Paralympics"
is reserved for swimmers with a disability while "Special Olympics"
is reserved for swimmers with a mental disability. Swimmers who I am or have
been directly involved with are Anessa Kemna, a blind athlete from Orono High
School who is now attending college at the University of Minnesota/Duluth, and
Justin Zook, a right leg disabled athlete from Maple Grove High School who is
now attending college at Springfield, Mass. Additionally, Hopkins High is proud
to have Anna Eames walking our halls and classrooms during her sophomore year.
Anna swims locally at the Twin Cities Swim Club. A few pictures are included
below to get you acquainted with some of these wonderful people:
Above and left are Anessa Kemna (on your far left) and Carrie
Willoughby. Carrie went to high school with America Idol winner and spent the
afternoon with Matt Kenseth's team at the Talledegha Speedway when he finished
second. Above and right are Anna Eames (on the picture's left) and Jessica Long.
Jessica is one of the ten finalists for female athlete of the year.
Below and to the far left is Justin Zook immediately after
he won a gold medal at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece. In the middle
is Curtis Lovejoy with his haul of medals from the summer US/Canada Paralympic
National Championships. To the right is Grover Alexander and his wife immediately
after Grover set a new American Record.
Finally, here is a picture of Erin Popovich with my daughters
Mary and Maggie. Erin won 7 gold medals at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens,
Greece. I have had the thrill of being part of the past two Paralympic Games.
My wife and I were spectators at the 2004 Paralympics in
Athens. In 2008, my wife and daughters were spectators while I was a coach
at the Beijing
Paralympics. I was later named head coach for the 2009 Short Course World Championships in Rio de Jainero. In 2010, we took a trip to the World Championships in Eindhoven, Holland. In 2012, I was fortunate to be named one of two head coaches for the London Paralympic Games. A few pictures from the trials of 2012 in Bismarck, ND showing some of the swimmers.
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