This amazing Olympian is a champion in and out of the pool

Olympics swimming gold medalist Michael Phelps took part in a swimming clinic for Special Olympics athletes going to the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games. The clinic was held at the aquatics center near Baltimore where Phelps learned to swim and has trained for all of his Olympic events.

Olympics swimming gold medalist Michael Phelps took part in a swimming clinic for Special Olympics athletes going to the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games. The clinic was held at the aquatics center near Baltimore where Phelps learned to swim and has trained for all of his Olympic events.

Follow in Michael Phelps’ wake and get involved

Michael Phelps joined forces with Special Olympics to raise awareness and change attitudes toward people with intellectual disabilities and he wants you to get involved too.

Phelps has been involved with the Special Olympics movement since 2007, when he first held a swimming clinic for Special Olympics athletes in China prior to the 2007 World Summer Games in Shanghai.

“I am extremely honoured to be recognised as a Special Olympics Global Ambassador and appreciate their support of my foundation’s IM programme,” said Phelps.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Special Olympics athletes over the last few years and believe that together we can help grow the sport of swimming, while also encouraging active and healthy lifestyles for people of all ages and abilities.”

The IM programme, named after Phelp’s signature event, the individual medley, seeks to promote healthy, active lives for children by expanding opportunities for participation in the sport of swimming.

In 2011, after he became a Special Olympics Global Ambassador, IM launched an international pilot programme in seven countries across six continents.

The programme, which included water safety courses, recreational pool activities and swim training, was adapted for children with varying levels of intellectual and physical abilities.

He said: “Partnering with Special Olympics, I want to try to accomplish the things they want to accomplish. If you put your mind to anything that you dream, you can achieve it.”

His life is a testament to where hard work and dedication can lead.

Phelps began swimming at the age of seven but not with enthusiasm. As a kid, he was full of energy, apprehensive about getting into the water and diagnosed with ADHD when he was in the sixth grade.

Influenced by his sisters who were avid swimmers, Phelps gave it a try and ultimately found that the pool was the perfect place to channel his energy.

By the age of 10, he held a national record for his age group in the 100-metre butterfly and still holds many age group records today.

His story of triumph is an example of how sports can positively change lives and Phelps is truly committed to lending his time and expertise to support Special Olympics athletes.

The MENA Special Olympics Games is on 14th-23rd March and the Special Olympics World Games takes place in March, 2019. To get involved visit: abudhabi2019.org

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