3 Special Olympics Athletes Bonding While Swimming Competitively

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PHARR – Over the years, three Rio Grande Valley athletes with Down syndrome have bonded through competitive swimming.

Celina Escobedo loves the water. She's has been swimming competitively for more than 20 years.

"Celina started sports since she was 3 years old,” said her mother Rosa Escobedo. “She started Special Olympics at the age of 8."

Celina Escobedo has competed all over Texas, along with Mauricio Mejia and Roxy Yaccarino. "We are proud of Mauricio,” said his mother, Maria Antonieta Mejia. “Since he was a child, we've been with him, and we've supported him in everything, in either school or sports."

While competition has helped the Special Olympics athletes build confidence, their parents said their children’s social skills are benefitting the most.

Yaccarino’s father, Jack, said “With situations such as this, with swimming and in tennis, she gets to be very open.”

He added, “You get to meet a lot of new people. It's getting to be a unified group, and I think that's fantastic. It's a win-win situation for everyone."

"I mean it feels good, enjoy our swimming and being with our friends,” said Celina Escobedo.

In August, Celina Escobedo and Roxy Yaccarino will swim at a national meet in Michigan.

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