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West Orange Times & Observer Wednesday, Mar. 16, 2022 2 months ago

ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Victor Wright

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The "Coolest Teenager in Winter Garden" will be competing in Malta at the Special Olympics Invitational this summer.
by: Chris Martucci Sports Editor

Victor Wright is a Special Olympics swimmer who, despite his ADHD and autism, swam for West Orange High School, one of the first Special Olympians to make the team at the time. Wright trains at the National Training Center in Clermont and is part of the South Lake Aquatic Club as well. This summer, he will be traveling to the island nation of Malta to compete at the Special Olympics Invitational Games, where he will compete in the 50-meter breaststroke and 50-meter freestyle. 

What do you like about coming to downtown Winter Garden? 

I like walking around downtown Winter Garden and the whole neighborhood because I like going to the fountain. It’s nice to look at. I also go see Mayor John Rees; he’s my friend and tells me to be kind. Every April, he gives me a certificate for Autism Awareness Month. I really like it because the whole city turns blue, such as the fountain and the entire downtown. He’s really supportive of it. 

What else do they do for you during the month? 

Last year, because of COVID, Mayor Rees came by the house to give me the certificate. At the same time, 50 cars rode around the house and waved to me. That felt good. 

Favorite stroke in swimming? 

Breaststroke. 

Favorite swimmer? 

Caeleb Dressel. He came by and did a clinic one time; that was pretty cool. 

What do you like about swimming? 

I like swimming on the relay because I swim freestyle on it. Swimming also makes me feel free and good as well. I also swim to make new friends too, which I like to do. I like swimming fast breaststroke as well. 

What are some of your proudest accomplishments in swimming? 

Making the swim team at West Orange, winning four medals for Special Olympics and getting to compete at the Special Olympics Invitational Games in Malta. I’m excited for the games this summer because it’s a chance to make new friends and I want to represent my country and Winter Garden. 

Who do you swim for? 

My dad, my mom, my friend Vivian, my Uncle Perry and my Aunt Tina. I want to make them proud by doing well in Malta this summer. 

What other kinds of training do you do? 

I go to New Smyrna Beach to train sometimes. We swim in the ocean to get an extra bit of resistance so that it’s easier when swimming in the pool. I enjoy it a lot because I get to be with my friends, as well. 

Favorite movie? 

The 2017 movie adaption of “Power Rangers,” but I also liked “The Batman” when I went and saw it recently. I was so into it. My favorite part of the movie was Selina Kyle/Catwoman and the actress who played her. She was cute. 

I heard from your dad that you work on a farm. Could you tell me a little bit about what you do on the farm? 

I feed the animals, such as the cows, ducks, horses and the pigs; that’s what my main job is. I also water the garden and pull weeds out, as well. I like the people over there – they make it a fun place to go to work at. My mom also has a duck that lives there named Mimi, which is named after my mom. We had it for a year before giving it over to the farm. 

What show on streaming are you watching right now? 

“High School Musical: The Musical” 

Disney or Universal? 

Universal – my favorite ride is the Amazing Spider-Man, but I also like the Transformers ride and the VelociCoaster. 

What’s something else you like to do? 

I went to see a rodeo a while back, which was a lot of fun. I enjoyed the bull riding, but it’s dangerous, too.  

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Chris Martucci was the sports editor for the West Orange Times & Observer,  Southwest Orange Observer and OrangeObserver.com. He holds a master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri — Columbia School of Journalism, as well as a bachelor's degree in digital media...

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