Terrace Special Olympian Jess Hansen came back with three bronze medals from the national competition in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.
He swam every day from August 1-4, competing against other swimmers across Canada for Team BC in the 25-metre backstroke, the 25-metre freestyle, the 50-metre backstroke, and the 50-metre freestyle.
Team BC is made up of 174 athletes with intellectual disabilities, 54 coaches and 16 mission staff members representing 38 B.C. communities.
“It was really exciting,” said Sheila Bradford, Hansen’s mother, who went to watch him perform with her husband.
“It’s a population of 4,000 people, and they had a 1,000 volunteers. It was phenomenal, the opening ceremonies.. just everything,” she said of the effort made by Antigonish.
Hansen came in third for three events, with a time of 1:43.13 in the 50-metre backstroke, 1:55.46 for the 50-metre freestyle and 0:44.45 for the 25-metre backstroke.
“It felt really good,” he said over the phone. “Time-wise, I think I went faster than what I was doing here.”
With these winning performances, Hansen said there’s a chance he’ll be selected to compete in the Special Olympic World Games in Abu Dhabi in March 2019, and should find out if he’s going within the next couple weeks.
But now that he’s back in Terrace, Hansen said he’ll be resting up from Nationals before he jumps back into the pool.
“Everybody was happy, and everybody was there to support each other,” said Bradford. “So he’s proud of it all, he’s happy he won and he’s excited about winning.”