At the Regional Swimming Invitational in Lebanon, Tennessee, James Moulton showcased his swimming skills in his favorite strokes, freestyle and breaststroke. After each race, James' excitement and pride could be felt by the large crowd of supporters around the pool. He had a smile on his face the entire duration of our conversation and was beaming to share insight on what Special Olympics Tennessee means to him.
James, 26, excels in the 200-meter freestyle race, a race in which he competed in a State Swimming Championship in the past. When swimming the 200-meter freestyle, James uses one-to-one correspondence skills to count the number of laps he is swimming. To do so, James highlights the way he uses letters to count each lap and ensure that he is swimming the entire race. James maps out his eight-lap swim using the letters ranging between “g” and “n” to help himself keep track of which lap he is swimming. His unique tracking style allows him to complete each 200-meter freestyle race successfully. This is something that James was also very proud to share throughout our conversation as it is special to him.
When highlighting his time with Special Olympics Tennessee and what it means to him, James notes the swimming competitions held in Murfreesboro and Chattanooga as being his favorites. He enjoys traveling to different competitions and seeing other athletes from around the state. Steve, his father, notes that Special Olympics Tennessee provides a lot of stimulation for James and brings a community together that enjoys the same idea, swimming. This is something that he and James both value about their experiences with the Special Olympics Tennessee and the swimming community.
“I love it here because I get to swim freestyle and breaststroke, and see my friends at swimming. And, I get to have fun too.”
To get ready for a race, James tells himself to “kick hard and use fast arms” to have a speedy race. He also makes sure that his cap is on and goggles are tight so he is able to see while in the water. He was also enthused to share some of his favorite things aside from swimming, one of which is basketball.
While talking with James, others can witness his sense of pride to be a Special Olympics Tennessee athlete and a part of Team Knoxville’s swimming program. He notes that he missed being in the pool during the COVID-19 pandemic, but is happy to be back doing what he enjoys. He is excited to get back in the pool and eager to participate in swimming competitions in the near future.