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 Erin and Donnie’s winning strokes draw smiles

Erin and Donnie both won gold and silver medals at the Victorian Special Olympics in Nunawading. JANE OLLERENSHAW.

PROUD swimmers Erin and Donnie wear winning grins.

The pair each won gold and silver at the Victorian Special Olympics in Nunawading last month against competitors three times their age.

Narre Warren swimmer Erin, 12, who has Down syndrome, took a gold medal home in the 25m freestyle and silver in backstroke.

Her mother Janny Dijkman said her daughter, who has been swimming for 10 years, was overwhelmed with the victory.

“She takes swimming very seriously like she is a professional Olympic athlete,” Ms Dijkman said.

“You should have seen her standing on the podium; it was one of the proudest moments of her life.”

Erin trained for the event with her coach Melita Taylor at Casey Arc swimming pool where she met Donnie Moretti from Beaconsfield.

Donnie, 11, has autism and also won gold in the 25m freestyle and silver in backstroke.

His mother Carmy Moretti said she was surprised to discover his swimming talent.

“He’s only been swimming in competitions since last year,” she said.

“He came out of the pool with the biggest smile on his face.”

The Special Olympics is for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Sports include athletics, aquatics, tennis, bocce, golf, softball and soccer.  The National Special Olympics will take place in Adelaide from April 18.

Source:  http://leader-news.whereilive.com.au/sport/story/erin-and-donnie-s-winning-strokes-draw-smiles/#When:20:17:20Z



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