Ocean City hosts Special Olympics swim meet

Swimmers show off their athletic skills to a crowd at the Special Olympics Zone 8 meet. (Photos courtesy of Ocean City)

By MADDY VITALE

There was some friendly competition at a Special Olympics Area 8 swim meet at the Ocean City Aquatic and Fitness Center on Sunday.

There was also excitement for athletes from Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland counties and their families.

“It was the first swim meet here since COVID,” explained Michael Allegretto, who is deputy mayor Jay Gillian. “The city always likes to host the Special Olympics swim meet every March. It’s a great event for participants, and we certainly enjoy being the host city.

Swimmers pose for a group photo with lifeguards showing their support for the athletes.

There were 32 swimmers from the following teams: The Blue Kraken, The Brigantine Greenheads, Cumberland Sharks and Ocean City Sting Rays.

The majority of the swimmers were from OC’s Sting Rays.

From the bleachers, the families of the participants watched the swimmers show off their skills in the pool. Volunteers helped make the event possible, Allegretto noted.

“They all loved meeting each other,” Allegretto said. “Even though some heats didn’t have many participants, the athletes were all able to swim. The thrill on the athletes’ faces as they competed was well worth the effort for the volunteers.

Swimmers prepare to dive.

Qualifying swimmers will advance to sections in hopes of qualifying for the New Jersey Special Olympics Summer Games June 10-12 at the College of New Jersey in Ewing Township, NJ

A meet is scheduled for Saturday, May 7 for New Jersey Special Olympics Zone 8 track and field athletes at Carey Stadium in Ocean City.

For more information on Special Olympics New Jersey and for swim meet results, visit https://www.sonj.org/