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Student to receive Special Olympics Canada Athlete of the Year

By Costa Maragos Posted: November 17, 2016 6:00 a.m.

Michael Qing competing at the 2016 Olympic Trials in Toronto.
Michael Qing competing at the 2016 Olympic Trials in Toronto. Photo courtesy of Swimming Canada

Student Michael Qing will finally get to attend an event held in his honour.

Qing is the recipient of the 2016 Special Olympics Canada Athlete of the Year. It’s the third time he’s received this national award, but it will be the first time he is able to accept the honour in person.

Michael Qing
Michael Qing won eight gold medals and broke four world records at the 2016 Trisome Games in Florence, Italy.
“I’m really thrilled to be at the event this time,” says Qing. “The previous two times, I was competing and unable to attend.”

Qing is a second-year student in the U of R’s Campus For All program, a four-year inclusive post-secondary education experience for adults with intellectual disabilities.

He also works at the University’s Fitness and Lifestyle Centre.

But most of his free time is spent in the pool, where hours and hours of arduous training is required to remain among the swimming elite.

Qing started swimming competitively in 2004. He trains every day, either with the U of R Cougars’ Swim Team, the Regina Optimist Dolphins Club or the Special Olympics Regina Swimming Team.

Qing holds numerous Special Olympics and World Down Syndrome swim records and has competed in several Special Olympics national and world games competitions.

He has earned dozens of medals at national and international competitions.

Most recently he competed in the 2016 Trisome Games in Florence, Italy, where he won eight gold medals and broke four world records.

Outside the pool, Qing is a strong advocate for Special Olympics and for people with intellectual disabilities.

In 2015, he was honoured by Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall for his performances and achievements at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games.

“I’ve tried a lot of sports growing up and found that swimming was the one for me. It’s taught me how to be myself and work hard to achieve my dreams,” says Qing.

And now Qing will be in the company of champions once again. He will accept his award at the Special Olympics Canada Gala in Toronto on November 18.