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Six young male special Olympians standing in line celebrating
Photo of Chris Akubuilo receiving medals

Photo of Chris Akubuilo and mom Michelle Smith


Love of Water Leads to a Special Olympics Athlete

"I like competing," says Chris Akubuilo with an infectious smile.

Chris has been a Special Olympics athlete ever since the third grade when he started competing in track and field. But once he went for a dip in a therapeutic pool and caught a couple of rockin' waves at the beach in Santa Monica, track and field were history. "He loved the water so much, he took up swimming," says mom Michelle Smith.

Chris has been a competitive swimmer in the Special Olympics for years now and has snagged his fair share of awards and medals.

When asked his favorite thing about the Special Olympics, he's quick to reply: "I like the parties!"

"He does like meeting people," says Michelle with a laugh. But he relishes the competition too and works very hard to excel in his freestyle and backstroke events. "I practice every day!"

"For Chris, the games are a great opportunity for socialization and exercise and both make him very happy," says Michelle. "As a parent, it's wonderful to see him enjoying life."

Or as Chris likes to say, "It's just fun!"