Over the last few weeks we've been featuring some of our local athletes heading to the 2014 Special Olympics. Now, we are taking a look at a swimmer that will be representing team Texas.
This swimmer is from Dripping Springs and has been at it since he was 6 years old. Nathan Van Nostrand hopes this is his year to get the gold medal. This will be Nathan’s first time to compete at the USA games in New Jersey. His coach, Andrea McCarthy, says he's been to regional and state meets but he finally punched his ticket to the national competition.There Nathan will be swimming the individual medley as well as the butterfly.
Nathan swims every day and his mom, Michele, tells me everyone is incredibly excited for him. She hopes more people find out about everything Special Olympics does for its athletes. “"This is a fantastic program and there are a lot of people that don't know that they qualify for this or have a hard time finding a team. There's also a shortage of coaches and that's too bad because this is has been a really big part of his life."
Nathan's coach taught him how to swim, and days Nathan has a light in him that even inspired her to become a special education teacher. “In high school swimming youhave to be there at 6:30 every morning and Nathan was there every morning at 6:30. There were some swimmers that were way more talented but no one with more heart than Nathan."
As for Nathan, he says he loves the clarity he gets after a good swim. “It pretty much clears the stress at school and stuff and that's why I swim usually too. And it just feels good to just be in the water."
The whole family will be in New Jersey to cheer him on. But calm and relaxed will not be in their vocabulary. In fact, they say just look for the most obnoxious people in the stands. They will be cheering for him and the rest of team Texas.
FOX 7 is a proud partner of Special Olympics and will continue to bring you the stories of some of our local athletes.