Special Olympics

The Special Olympics athletes and their families are the heart and soul of the WaveOne community. In 2012, Kester Edwards from Special Olympics International, contacted Denis inquiring about potential open water swimming programs with WaveOne for intellectually disabled athletes. Open water swimming became a new fully accredited sport of the Special Olympics World Games the previous year.  In the following years, Special Olympics adopted the WaveOne model for teaching open water swimming in over 60 countries around the world.

We include free access for all Special Olympic athletes, their Unified Partners and families at any of our swims, races or training programs. Please contact us if you know any intellectually disabled athletes interested in swimming or you want to help volunteer as a Unified Partner. What is a Special Olympics Unified Partner? Find the answer here>

Highlights

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2017

After a summer of swimming at National Harbor, the Potomac River Dolphins finish the season in Wrightsville Beach, NC at the Swim the Loop 1 mile and 3.5 mile races. Rose Pleskow is featured on WJLA's RISING STAR PROGRAM: attacking life without boundaries, competing internationally in open water swimming. Watch her video here>

2016

April: Swim Miami 1 mile swim.  June: Washington Crossing 1.3 mile open water race across the Potomac River August: HarborFest - 5K, 2.4 mi and 1,2 mile swims. Jack King 1 mile and 5K ocean swims in Virginia. Beach, Va. Carl is 1st to complete a 5K as a SO Athlete. Unified Partner Mary McGibboney completes her first open water swim. 

2015

June: Washington Crossing 1.3 mile open water race across the Potomac River. Jenny's first solo crossing!! July/August Special Olympics 2015 World Games, Los Angeles, Ca - 1500 meter open water swim. Congratulations Luke, placing 3rd in the 1500m!  August: HarborFest - 5K, 2.4 mi and 1,2 mile swims.  September: Swim the Loop, Wrightsville Beach, NC - 1 mile and 5K swims

2014

January: Carl Alf, Stuart and Josef join the WaveOne Open Water team at the Pool to Open Water training practices. April: 2nd Annual Aloha Splash Pool Open Water Swims  benefiting Special Olympics Open Water. June:  Washington's Crossing Swim Across the Potomac. Congratulations to Luke and John Ferris, Jenny Mitchell, Tom Hull, Donny Toker, Rose and Susan Pleskow. August: Luke Ferris wins a bid to compete in the 1500m open water event in the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles. September:  Swim for the Potomac. Many personal records including Rose Pleskow and Carl Alf complete the 3000m event.

Special Olympics swimmers Virginia Beach,  2016

Special Olympics swimmers Virginia Beach,  2016

2013 Swimmer of the Year Rose (L) with Unified Partner Susan Kasimer

2013 Swimmer of the Year Rose (L) with Unified Partner Susan Kasimer

2013

January:  WaveOne welcomes Donny Toker to the Pool to Open Water program.  Donny goes on to complete in numerous open water races over the next 2 years. April: Denis Crean with Kester Edwards from Special Olympics International, conduct training for the US Department of State's Sports United outreach program in Cairo, Egypt. The training session taught over 145 Special Olympics
coaches and athletes coaching basics and program development for pool and open water swimming.  April: First Annual Aloha Splash Pool Open Water Swims to Benefit Special Olympics Open Water Swimming is conducted attracting almost 100 swimmers. September: Rose Pleskow is awarded the WaveOne Swimmer of the Year for her dedication and achievements on open water swimming and competitions.

Jenny finishing a 2K in  2012 Bermuda Sound

Jenny finishing a 2K in  2012 Bermuda Sound

2012

June: Kester Edwards invites Denis Crean to Special Olympics International headquarters to discuss open water swimming development opportunities using the WaveOne Swimming model of open water swimming education and training. SO swimmers begin participating in the weekly swims. June:  Jenny Mitchell and Dave Lenox (Virginia), are the first Special Olympics Unified Partners to complete the 1.3 mile Washington’s Crossing: Swim Across the Potomac River in Washington, DC. September:  WaveOne Special Olympics 800m race in preparation for the 1500m SOIWAI later in the month. San Juan, Puerto Rico. Special Olympics Inaugural World Aquatics Invitational. 40 swimmers, including 9 Unified Teams, participate in the 1500 meter Open Water Swim race. October:  Bermuda. Special Olympics Athlete, Jenny Mitchell swims the 2k race in the 22nd Annual Round the Sound.

SO Coaching team in Cairo 2014

SO Coaching team in Cairo 2014

After first SO Race in National Harbor 2012

After first SO Race in National Harbor 2012

Jenny and Unified Partner Dave, 1st Special Olympics swimmers to cross the Potomac River, 2012

Jenny and Unified Partner Dave, 1st Special Olympics swimmers to cross the Potomac River, 2012

Luke finishing 1500m at 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles

Luke finishing 1500m at 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles

2013 Aloha Splash Special Olympics POWS Race Fundraiser

2013 Aloha Splash Special Olympics POWS Race Fundraiser