Senior Erin Ciliv will be participating in the Special Olympics this year. She wakes up bright and early every Saturday morning to practice with her team at the Bellevue Aquatic Center. Ciliv enjoys the time she spends in the pool, as the water is very relaxing and she challenges herself with new swimming techniques. After sitting in a wheelchair during the day, she likes being able to move her body with fewer restrictions than she has on land.
“When [I’m in the water] I feel more free, because I don’t have to be in the wheelchair…I like swimming in the water because I can walk and float and move around,” Ciliv said.
Ciliv is currently working on improving her freestyle and backstroke so that she can swim competitively against her peers. Each day, she builds the endurance to go farther in the water. Ciliv has a personal best of swimming 250 yards of freestyle and 250 yards of backstroke.
In addition to improving her swim skills, Ciliv is also practicing for water polo. She is Bellevue High’s new Girls Water Polo Team Manager and is very excited to contribute to the team.
Ciliv may roll around the school’s hallways in a wheelchair, but she is an athlete just like any other. With all her hard work and practice Ciliv is proving that as long as we put forth the effort, we can accomplish great things.