PB tumbles at Games special olympics
MITCHELL Carlin is this week living the dream of junior athletes all over the world.
The emerging swim champ is competing at the 2013 Special Olympic Asia Pacific Games being held in Newcastle.
Carlin, 17, is originally from Grafton but moved to the Central Coast when he was five-years old.
He was born with Down syndrome and has lived with a lower muscle tone than normal his whole life.
Despite this, Carlin has persevered and is now representing Australia on the international stage.
Carlin's proud grandmother Jean Clark said he had performed extremely well at the Games so far.
"He swam a new PB in the 100m butterfly heats on Monday and placed seventh in the final freestyle heats on Tuesday," Mrs Clark said.
Carlin began swimming more than 10 years ago and trains three times per week after school to reach competition-ready condition.
The Games, being held in Australia for the first time, have attracted more than 2000 athletes from 32 countries.
Carlin is representing Australia in a number of events in the pool.
His strongest stroke is butterfly and he will compete in the 100m butterfly finals today.
He will also race in the 4x100m medley team tomorrow.
Even though Carlin is aiming for victory, Mrs Clarke said that's not what the Games are about.
"He and the rest of the athletes are just having the most wonderful time," she said.
"The whole family is just so proud of him.
"We went through his swimming awards the other day and counted 87 bronze, silver and gold medals, and that's not counting all the ribbons he has."
Carlin has notched wins in swimming competitions across the country including at the Australia Down Syndrome Titles and the Canberra Centenary Swimming Titles.
The closing ceremony of the 2013 Special Olympic Asia Pacific Games will be held Saturday.