Autistic swimmer inspires athletes at El Dorado
POSTED: Monday, January 27, 2014 - 10:15pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 - 3:18pm
El Paso, TX — Omar Gutierrez cracked 1:00 in the boys 50 yard freestyle for El Dorado this season... for most swimmers, that doesn't sound like much, but for Omar, it's big. Omar has Fragile X Syndrome, a form of Autism, which has slowed his mental development and speech. He is a sophomore at El Dorado High School, and when the socially anxious teen needed something to do, he and his family turned to swimming. Aztec swimmers have taken him in with open arms.
Omar's mother, Sandra Piñon, credits his teammates with helping him open up. "I am grateful to them, for accepting him, helping him every step of the way."
"Working with Omar has been really good, and i am really glad to help him," said Eduardo Alcantar. "He has a lot of special needs, but like anyone, he can overcome those needs. I've seen him progress over the years, and it's just a great feeling to help people."
"We wanted to make sure he felt comfortable swimming. We threw him into a lane, and made sure he felt comfortable," said El Dorado senior Alicea Taylor-Meza. People ask us why we do it, because he's an Aztec, he's part of our team."