Mikyla Carlow displays the four gold medals she won at the Cowichan 2018 BC Summer Games. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Mikyla Carlow is pure gold in BC Summer Games pool

Youbou swimmer wins four titles

Even an unexplained fainting spell couldn’t prevent Youbou’s Mikyla Carlow from achieving massive success in the Cowichan 2018 BC Summer Games.

Carlow bounced back quickly after passing out early on the day of her first races to win a total of four gold medals in Special Olympics swimming. She was outside of the Cowichan Aquatic Centre when she fainted, and woke up in the hospital. She recovered and made it back to the pool for her races, setting personal bests and winning gold in three events that day: the 50m and 100m freestyle, and 50m breaststroke.

“At the end of the day, I was super proud of myself because I did it,” she said. “I thought I was going to miss them.”

It wasn’t unusual for Carlow to pass out on race day, she said, but typically it happens after she swims.

“It wasn’t normal when I passed out outside,” she related.

The next day, Carlow won her fourth gold medal in the 50m butterfly in the morning, then passed out again at the end of the closing ceremonies, which took place in a hot, crowded Island Savings Centre Arena. She laughs off the fainting spells, however, and doesn’t let that chance her perspective on the Summer Games.

“Overall it was definitely a good experience,” she said. “It was a good atmosphere. Lots of people were coming and cheering. A lot of family members, lots of friends, and the Powerful Youth (Leadership Workshop) people were cheering us on.”

Carlow was particularly comfortable competing at the Cowichan Aquatic Centre, where she trains five times a week and also works. This was Carlow’s second BC Summer Games, after she also swam at the 2016 Games in Abbotsford, winning one silver and three bronze medals. She has been competing for three years, since she joined the Special Olympics swimming program.

Carlow also competed at the Special Olympics regional championships in 2016, earning a berth in the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games, which are taking place this week in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. She also represented B.C. at the 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg, coming home with silver and bronze medals.

This is Carlow’s first trip to the Special Olympics Canada Summer Games, and she’s hoping to improve on the PB’s she set at the BC Games.

“The times I got at the BC Games will be my base,” she said. “I’ll try to build on that.”

An outstanding performance at the Special Olympics Canada Summer Games could lead to an appearance at the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi, but Carlow won’t be disappointed if that doesn’t happen.

“Even if I don’t make it, I’ll start at the bottom [at regionals] again,” she said. “Even if I don’t make it, there’s no point in thinking I’m not good enough.”


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