Special Olympic swimmers

Sofia Walhovd, far left, and Steve Woodard, center, of The Arc Greater Columbia County, will swim as members of Team Wisconsin at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle in July. They are joined in the photo by coaches Michelle Walhovd, second from left, Gorden Blackburn, second from right, and Vicki Holmes, far right.

Sofia Walhovd and Steve Woodard of The Arc Greater Columbia County have been selected as members of the Team Wisconsin in swimming for the upcoming 2018 Special Olympics USA Games, which will take place July 1-6 in Seattle.

In order to be eligible to compete at the USA Special Olympic Games, Walhovd and Woodard had to finish in first place at the state competition for at least three years in a row in an event. Once they did that, both swimmers received an invite for the Team Wisconsin selection camp, which was held in Oshkosh in September. Out of 24 swimmers that were at the camp, Walhovd and Woodard were among the eight swimmers to be selected to represent Team Wisconsin.

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Walhovd will be competing in the 100-meter breaststroke, 200 freestyle, 400 freestyle and the 400 medley relay. Woodard will be competing in the 50 breaststroke, 50 freestyle, 50 backstroke and 200 medley relay. The swimming competitions will take place at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Washington.

Both Walhovd and Woodard train locally with their coach Michelle Walhovd along with assistant coaches Vicki Holmes and Gorden Blackburn. Both swimmers, along with the rest of their Team Wisconsin teammates, will be participating in the Canal Days Parade in Portage on June 2 before leaving for Seattle.

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