NBC 15: Monona program breaks down barriers for disabled swimmers

MONONA, Wis. (WMTV) — The All City Swim Meet is in it’s 57th year but there are new swimmers making a splash this year. The Unified Swim Program partnered with the Special Olympics gives children with intellectual impairments the opportunity to swim as a team.

“I love it and I love seeing how much he loves it,” Nicole Scheunemann said.

Scheunemann’s 11-year-old son swims in the Monona program. Modi Scheunemann has hearing and speech impairments. Swimming in the water without his hearing aids is a challenge for him but within four weeks, he’s learned to swim on his own.

“Watching him compete for the first time; I was lucky I had sunglasses on because I ugly cried the whole time,” Scheunemann said.

For the first time ever, swimmers like Modi will get to compete at the All City Meet. Physically disabled swimmers have competed for years, but the intellectually impaired swimmers have not.

“Instead of watching his brother swim on the team all summer, he gets to swim in the pool with him,” Scheunemann said.

“He loves to jump off the diving board,” Vonn said.

If you want to watch swimmers jump off the diving board, All City starts on Thursday and runs through Sunday, July 29. The Unified Swimmers meet will be at 11 a.m. on Thursday.

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