Shameera Rosal, 21, shows off her silver medal during the Special Olympics National Summer Games, held in Nova Scotia this year. - Contributed

Lake Country Special Olympian takes home silver

Shameera Rosal competed in the event, July 31 to Aug. 4 in Nova Scotia

Shameera Rosal has been a fish since birth, her mother says.

The 21-year-old Lake Country resident took home a silver medal last week in her 50-metre freestyle swimming competition during the 2018 Special Olympics National Summer Games.

“It’s kinda like my therapy,” Shameera said. “It’s not only my physical therapy, it’s my mental and emotional therapy in a way. It makes me feel good.”

“I definitely feel very free, like I can do anything,” she said.

READ MORE: Shuswap Special Olympians take their place atop podium

Born with mobility issues due to a chromosome abnormality, her mother, Assunta Rosal, said she began swimming at a few months old.

“The water has been her haven, her passion, her place to be normal and included and part of things,” Assunta said.

The family often went swimming in Okanagan Lake.

“When she was little, like three or four years old, she would do these dives and people on the side of the beach asking ‘is she OK? Is she coming up?’ They couldn’t believe how long she could stay underwater. She’s been a swimmer since pretty much day one,” she said.

Shameera has been a part of Team Canada, with other Kelowna swimmers, since she was eight years old. She swims in Kelowna four days a week, and trains in other areas using weights and a stationary bike.

Her efforts paid off at this year’s summer games.

“It feels great to win at least one medal,” she said, and she plans to keep a rigorous training schedule to eventually compete at the Special Olympics World Games.

Despite the pressure at nationals, Shameera said she wasn’t nervous. More than 1,000 athletes competed during the event, held in Nova Scotia from July 31 to Aug. 4.

READ MORE: Special Olympic athletes take on BC Games during special anniversary

“She was the calming force in the room,” Assunta said.

Shameera also competed in the 100 m backstroke, placing fifth, the 50 m backstroke, placing fourth and the 100 m freestyle where she came in fourth, but set personal records in all her swims, Assunta said.

And there’s no rhyme or reason why she excels in the freestyle events.

“I have no idea, I just do well,” Shamerra said.

Shameera’s coach, Shane McLeod said it was exciting to see the swimmers earning medals at the event.

“I’m very happy for them,” he said. Shameera was one of There were 24 athletes from the Special Olympics Kelowna Local team who competed at the games.

McLeod described Shameera as cheerful and game for anything.

“She’ll try it all and give her best. She has a real go-getter attitude and never says no,” he said.

McLeod said Shameera excels with her stamina.

She looks up to swimmers like Michael Phelps and Kelsey Wyse, a local athlete who is part of Team Canada.

When she’s not in the pool, she’s working at her part-time job at Dairy Queen in Lake Country, attending university in the Steps Forward program at UBCO and working with her art, where her creations are abstract and left up to her imagination.

@carliberry_
carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Comedy fundraiser for Okanagan baseball leagues

It’s a comedy and carnival night for the Okanagan College, Okanagan Athletics, and Kelowna Jr Coyotes

Two Kelowna stores work to raise funds for non-profit and the Central Okanagan Foodbank

ScanDesigns Furniture and Muse & Merchant Home Collection locations raised $20,500

Ballet Kelowna kicks off with first 2019 program, Winter

The new program comes to the Kelowna Community Theatre Feb. 1

Central Okanagan NDPers organize meeting look at BC government’s record last year

Organizers say open house at UBCO is open to people of all political persuasions

West Kelowna Warriors lose to Rivermen

It was a tight 2-1 loss in the first of a three game road trip

Vernon ringette team tops in Calgary

Also highlights from Okanagan rink action with Westside, Kelowna and Salmon Arm

Teravainen’s 3 points lift Hurricanes to 5-2 win over Canucks

Vancouver heads into all-star break on losing note

47 men arrested by Vancouver police for allegedly seeking sex with teenage girls

Seven of those arrested have been charged as part of a two-month operation

B.C. hospital apologizes for veteran’s five-day hallway stay

Clinical director of Victoria General Hospital says case of retired veteran ‘definitely excessive’

Speaker Darryl Plecas says ‘justice’ needed for legislature employees

Plecas spoke to media at the opening of a pedestrian and cycling bridge in Abbotsford Wednesday

Advocate hopes B.C. legislature scandal leads to more transparency

‘Depressing’ that it takes a scandal to inspire freedom of information reform, says Sara Neuert

‘Dr. Lipjob’ avoids jail, gets 30-day suspended sentence

She will have to serve the 30 days in prison if she commits a breach during her two-year’s probation

UPDATE: Man shot by police during arrest in Kelowna

RCMP are surrounding the CIBC at the mall in Kelowna

Ex-Mountie involved in Taser death at Vancouver airport sues government

Kwesi Millington claims he acted in accordance with RCMP training

Most Read