Thursday December 9, 2010


City Hall

HO: Two Parts Heart & One Part Olympian

Chilliwack Special Olympian heading for 2011 Worlds in Greece



yan Kuester, 22, isn't waiting for his ship to come in, he's swimming out to it instead.


Kuester was at City Hall Monday to accept a certificate of appreciation for winning two silver and one gold medal in the pool at the Special Olympics in Ontario earlier this year.

His specialty is the Backstroke, Breastroke and Front Crawl for which he picked up the medals.

Recently, the young man was chosen to represent Canada next summer in the 2011 world competitions in Athens, Greece.


Ryan Kuester (C) laughs with Mayor Sharon Gaetz and his coach Jacques Lemieux.

Kuester told council he was first introduced to the sport by his Grade 12 teacher's assistant and has been immersed in swimming competitions for the last 4-years.

"I went to the Chilliwack Mall, signed up for swimming and its just been a blast for me ever since I started," he said.

Kuester was nervous in his first provincial competition but managed to swim away with two silvers and a bronze medal.

By the time the Nationals rolled around in Ontario, Kuester was good and ready to bring home some medals, and after each win, he still didn't think he was going to be selected for international competition.

When he was selected for international competition he could hardly believe what he was hearing and was equally excited to have been referred to by his coach Jacques Lemieux as an "athlete".

Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz said the city was very proud of the young man's accomplishments in the water.

"We recognize your outstanding achievement. Congratulations, keep working hard and all the best to you," she said.

According to the Special Olympics website, "sporting events occur frequently throughout the year. In 2009, for example, there were more than 44,000 competitions around the world, an average of 121 a day."

For more information on how you can become involved or donate visit the Chilliwack Special Olympics website:  or their national site:


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