Chlorine filled air, roaring crowds, the starter’s horn sounding wave after wave of competition. There’s no place quite like it. Traveling from Charlotte, North Carolina, swimmer Ethan Tipton was among hundreds of fired-up athletes ready to battle it out in the pool at the Triangle Aquatics Center! The day this athlete looks forward to each and every year had finally arrived -the 2014 Special Olympics North Carolina Summer Games.
The 23 year-old absolutely loves to swim and shows it with a smile that’s contagious. Ethan was encouraging everyone around him as he excitedly awaited his shot at the gold medal in freestyle and backstroke. His longtime coach Amy Clark knows his enthusiasm can’t be contained, “Ethan is a cheerleader for everyone. He has so much enthusiasm. In fact, in high school while serving as captain of the swim team his senior year; Ethan received the James Smith Award, an honorable award dedicated to the student athlete who demonstrates courage and outgoing spirit.”
Cheering for teammates isn’t the only thing this athlete has been up to. Ethan has been embracing a much healthier lifestyle which includes maintaining a healthy diet. Coach Amy Clark has noticed drastic improvements in his eating habits, lots of fruits and vegetables. A strong athlete is a healthy athlete. Ethan is familiar with this idea as a result of taking classes and the impacts of Special Olympics. It didn’t take long for Ethan to come to the realization that his lifestyle choices had a major impact on his performance in the water. Being healthy means improving as a swimmer, and he is right on track.
The future looks bright for this dedicated swimmer. Ethan rocked this year’s Summer Games placing 3rd in backstroke and 4th in freestyle! With such a strong passion for swimming and a steadfast dedication to staying healthy, this athlete is one you don’t want to miss! Ethan had a blast competing in the Summer Games and looks forward to next year!