Local athletes swimming in medals at Special Olympics
Local athletes are raking in medals at the U.S.A. Special Olympics this week in Orlando, Fl.
Soldotna swimmer Darryl Magen won a gold medal in his heat for the 100-meter freestyle with a time of 2:35.48, as well as a silver for his 50-meter freestyle with a time of 1:02:280.
And Unified Bocce teammates Josh Delie and Sam Eason, also from the Central Peninsula, won gold in their doubles bocce match this week.
They’re all in Florida for the games representing the 49th state. And Darryl Magen's mom, Charlissa, said all of Team Alaska is doing great. She's with him in Orlando this week.
“It has been awesome," she said. "Everybody’s really supportive. It’s a huge crowd and the athletes — it is the Olympics. Everybody’s cheering for everybody else, we have banners and signs and we’re yelling for Darryl and other people are yelling with us for Darryl. So it’s just really a spirited event."
And she said Darryl has been swimming some of his best races yet.
“It didn’t hit me until I sent to his coaches back in Soldotna, I said, ‘Hey you guys, this is what Darryl did,’" she said. "And then the coach here with him, she said, ‘You know, Darryl shaved off six seconds of his best time.’ And so of course we were ecstatic about that. And his coaches were like, ‘I mean, he went there and he just blew past his personal best.’”
Now, he’s done in the pool. Tomorrow, the Magens will head to the award ceremony. Then, they’re off to Disney World to celebrate.
Charlissa said the atmosphere of encouragement at the games has been great. And she’s leaving Florida with some new perspective/
“Meeting people in different places and talking with them, I’ve learned how nurturing Alaska is and Soldotna is," she said. "You tend to forget all the pluses when you’re focusing on what you’re not being or what you need to get. But we do have a great community.”
You can follow along with Darryl Magen, Josh Delie and the rest of Team Alaska on the Alaska Special Olympics Facebook page.
Editor’s note: Charlissa Magen is a volunteer DJ for KDLL.