Penticton swimmer shocked by medal

Avery Newton hopes to catapult herself to Paralympics in Brazil

Avery Newton

Avery Newton

Avery Newton nearly cried at the podium during the Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, Que. Aug. 2 to 17.

Newton, a para swimmer, earned bronze during the 50-metre freestyle, finishing in 36 seconds, and was told of the third-place finish by her coach.

“I felt surprised when my coach told me that I came in third place,” said Newton, who also thanked her local coach, Jane Bentley. “I was surprised and shocked. My family was proud of me when I got home.”

After training in Montreal for two weeks, Newton said she only wanted to do her best.

She had no idea that would result in a bronze medal and some personal best times. Along with the 50-m freestyle, she competed in the 200-m breaststroke, 100-m breaststroke, 100-m backstroke and 100-m fly.

Newton said the other swimmers were tough, but being able to watch them before was an advantage.

“I watched the other swimmers and it did help me calm myself down,” said Newton of her final swim. “I was really tired at the end.”

Bentley, who didn’t travel to Quebec and was given praise by Newton for helping train her, said what Newton did “is a spectacular performance.”

“This will motivate her for the next season to set her performance goals to try to qualify for the Commonwealth Games (this spring) and the long-term goal of the Para Olympics in Brazil,” said Bentley. “Avery’s work ethic allows her to continue to improve. She is diligent, organized and professional with her approach to training.”

While in Sherbrooke, Newton said she learned several things, including ways to improve her stroke.