New Bern swimmer to compete in national Special Olympics swim event

Alyson Sheedy is the only athlete from Craven County who will represent North Carolina in the Special Olympics in Seattle (Nate Belt, NewsChannel 12 photo)

Since the 1980s, thousands of Special Olympics swimmers have passed through the pool at the Twin Rivers YMCA in New Bern.

But only one has been selected to compete at a national level.

Alyson Sheedy was invited to participate in the USA Special Olympic games in July in Seattle. She is the only participants invited from Craven County.

"I got selected to go to the national games in July," Sheedy said with a smile.

She said she started swimming at a young age, using it as a good opportunity to be social.

"I just like making new friends and hanging out and swimming with different people," said Sheedy, who competes in different events.

Now, she gets to show off her skills to the whole country. She was selected to North Carolina's Special Olympics Team, the only athlete ever chosen from Craven County. She met her teammates last weekend and was chosen to be a health ambassador. She's flying to Indiana soon for that.

The team will head to Seattle in July to compete.

"You have a girl that has special needs and all of the sudden you see her grow and grow. My heart is full. My heart is full," said Bill Sheedy, Alyson's father.

Bill Sheedy said he and his wife were shocked and excited to hear their daughter made the team. Now the excitement is building.

"I think I'm more excited than she is about the Seattle Games," said Bill Sheedy.

Alyson Sheedy has already set goals for the Games.

" I want to bring all the gold back to Craven County," she said.

The family has set up a FirstGiving fundraiser to help with the costs to attend the games. If you'd like to contribute, click on this link.

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