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A Competitor's kind heart: McCoy reflects on medal wins at Special Olympics

Duncan Banner - 7/17/2018

July 14--A week of competition showed Duncan Bison Aquatic Club swimmer Kearsty McCoy's true competitive side and also her compassion as she captured two gold medals and a silver at the 2018 Special Olympics in Seattle.

McCoy, one of the members of the Bison and former Duncan High School student, got to compete after months of raising money and was welcomed home to Duncan last Saturday.

Winning two gold medals in the 50-meter freestyle and the 50 meter backstroke while getting the silver medal in the 100 Freestyle, McCoy said it was a fun week in Seattle for the event.

"It was fun to compete, and (I) got to meet new people and made some friends outside of competing; we did all sorts of stuff," McCoy said. "At Nationals I won my first gold medal in the 50 free ... I have swam that since high school, so I was really nervous. When I realized that I had touched the wall first I was, like, smiling and walked out to see my family and I had tears of joy."

Bison Aquatic Club Coach and Duncan High School swim coach Andrew Bowers was happy to learn about McCoy's win and was very (complimentary) of the work ethic that she displays in the events.

"She totally deserves everything she got ... she has worked hard since she began swimming and is one of the hardest working and most competitive people I have ever been around," Bowers said. "For her to ... see the rewards of her hard work is just awesome."

McCoy said one of the best things she got to experience after a week of competition was representing the Bison and her Duncan community.

"It is a blessing to get to represent the Bison and my former high school friends and obviously Coach Bowers, while also getting a chance to represent the Duncan community," McCoy said. "I was very surprised, and even some people I didn't know (were) there ... it shows you the amount of support that Duncan has."

Bowers and McCoy's family organized the event with 24 hours notice. Bowers said he wanted to make sure to thank all of the community for welcoming her back to Duncan.

"I was honestly really surprised with how many people welcomed her home," Bowers said. "We kind of threw it together that morning and the night before, and there was a ton of people and a ton of shares on Facebook. The people that weren't able to be there were following on Facebook, and to see all of the congratulations and support from our community is just awesome."

McCoy said that swimming is a passion of hers and she has big goals for the future and wanted to thank several people for helping her.

"Hopefully in the future I want to go to Worlds and then go around to tell my story and inspire other people," McCoy said. "I would like to thank my family and all my coaches for always having faith in me through the hard times and through the tough times. I wouldn't be where I am without them."

Bowers, along with praising the work ethic of McCoy, said he is proud of her character and happy with the success.

"She is the hardest working and competitive, while being a great sport and is very classy," Bowers said. "One of her races she won gold and she invited all of the other people on the podium up to the top for a picture. Her mom said she was the only one in the whole event that did that, and it shows her compassion for other people ... she is very kind hearted even though she is still competitive ... a great person."


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