Genny Verge, winner of three gold medals at the Special Olympic World Games, is happy to be back. “It’s definitely nice to be back on Canadian soil,” said Verge from her home in Sechelt.
The Special Olympic swimmer spent three weeks in the United Arab Emirates and won gold in the 4x50 metre medley relay, 50-metre freestyle and 25-metre butterfly, earning personal bests in each event.
She is expected to meet with Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons and during Wednesday’s sitting of the legislature, Simons recognized her accomplishments. “I’m thrilled to congratulate Genny in winning gold,” he told the House. Liberal MP Pamela-Goldsmith Jones is also planning to meet with Verge. The Sunshine Coast Swim Team, which Verge trains with, delayed their last team swim until she returned home. They planned to celebrate her achievement on Wednesday, March 27.
“When I first came to the Games, I wanted to make Canada proud – I wasn’t expecting it too much,” said Verge of her three gold medals. “It was a pleasant surprise. It felt like my hard work really paid off.”
The hard work started eight months ago and included training six days a week, sometimes twice a day, both in the pool and in the gym. She was selected to represent Canada after earning three gold and one bronze at Nationals last August.
To stay motivated, Verge said she reminded herself during each workout that the effort would be worth it, regardless of the outcome. “[It was] a rewarding experience. I didn’t give up for a minute,” she said.
With the Games over, the 21-year-old is looking forward to getting back into her routine, which involves training for more swim meets and getting back to work at Trail Bay Sports in Sechelt. She’ll also be gearing up for the track and field season, which begins in April.
More than 7,000 athletes attended the Games from 200 countries, which take place every four years. Canada earned 90 gold medals.