Special Olympics British Columbia British Columbia

Meet Athlete Kaylee Richter

12 December 2017

Special Olympics BC – Smithers athlete Kaylee Richter may be only 14 years old, but she already knows what it takes to be a successful swimmer.

Kaylee prides herself on having a strong work ethic and being good at following her coaches’ instructions. Kaylee says when she is learning a new skill, she takes her time to make sure she gets it right.

“I love being an athlete and I have always wanted to be one! I want to see how far I can get with swimming!” she says.

Kaylee loves everything about swimming, including the social component. She has made a lot of good friends through SOBC, and she says she really enjoys spending time with her teammates.

“They are fun to hang around with and I like to see them every Tuesday!” she says.

Kaylee’s mother Karmen Richter says swimming with SOBC has helped Kaylee develop confidence and self-esteem. When Kaylee first started with SOBC she was afraid of the water, but now she is a strong, confident swimmer who takes pride in helping her teammates when they are having trouble with their technique.

Karmen Richter says being an SOBC athlete has helped Kaylee build her social skills and she is now more comfortable in group settings. Karmen Richter says swimming with Special Olympics has given Kaylee a purpose and helped her develop a more positive worldview.

“I am proud of her; both her dad and I are proud of the person she has become!” Karmen Richter says.

In July, Kaylee swam to a bronze medal at the 2017 SOBC Summer Games in Kamloops. It was Kaylee’s first time competing at Provincial Games, and she says it was a fantastic experience.

“It was exciting and joyful, and I also had so much fun!” she said.

Kaylee says it was amazing to see her hard work pay off in Kamloops, and she had a great time with the other swimmers.

“It was so much fun and I made so many friends!” she said.

Through her outstanding efforts at Provincial Games, Kaylee has qualified for the Team BC 2018 Training Squad for the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in Nova Scotia. Kaylee said finding out that she had made the team was an emotional experience.

“I was so excited when I found out – I started bursting out crying because I was so happy!” she said.

Along with swimming, Kaylee participates in track and field and Club Fit through SOBC – Smithers. Kaylee says she is very grateful to all of her coaches, who are very supportive and provide her with excellent instruction.

“I love the coaches, I love the athletes, and we work so hard!” Kaylee says.

Kaylee says her goals for the future are to keep swimming and trying her best. She is excited about further developing her skills in the pool with the help of her amazing coaches and teammates.

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