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Autistic swimmer inspires athletes at El Dorado

KTSM
Sports

POSTED: Monday, January 27, 2014 - 10:15pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 - 3:18pm

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."

Comments News Comments

I am SO proud of my son and Beau Bagly did such an excellent story that hopefully will give inspiration and hope to other parents of kids with disabilities. Swimming has tremendous neurological, psychological, and physical benefits! And it’s fun!

I am SO proud of my son and Beau Bagly did such an excellent story that hopefully will give inspiration and hope to other parents of kids with disabilities. Swimming has tremendous neurological, psychological, and physical benefits! And it’s fun!

What a truly inspiring story and to see how all of his classmates are very compassionate and willing to cheer him on is very beautiful thing. Thanks for sharing this truly inspiring story.

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