Gulf Shores: Gulf Shores : Jim Ford swims with champion

12:19 AM

Gulf Shores : Jim Ford swims with champion

On a recent trip to Gulf Shores, Ala., Jim Ford, California, swam with Jacob Halpin, the first handicapped swimmer to qualify for the finals of the Alabama High School State Championship Swim meet.Halpin also holds two Down Syndrome International Swimming world records in the 800 and 1,500 meter freestyle events.According to Ford's mother, Charlotte, Ford enjoys swimming and especially enjoys the activity when vacationing.Ford met Halpin in 2005 and met him again this year while swimming in the David L. Bodenhamer Center for Fitness and Recreation.Mike Halpin, Jacob's father, had been requested by the Down Syndrome International Swimming Organization (DSISO), based in Berkshire, England, to organize an American chapter to foster competition nationally and send an American National Team to the organizations World Championship Meet. The meet for 2006 is in Ireland. In 2007, it is scheduled to be held in Canada and Halpin plans to be there.Mike has been working with the National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC) in Atlanta, Ga., to establish a National Down Syndrome High School Athletics Hall of Fame. According to the NDSC, new parents of Down Syndrome children need to have access to success stories of other Down Syndrome children. The


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