VIDEO: Medals galore for Surrey teen para-swimmer at Canada Summer Games

VIDEO: Medals galore for Surrey teen para-swimmer at Canada Summer Games

Arianna Hunsicker, who was born with a partial left hand, wins five medals for B.C.

Seated at Surrey Sport & Leisure Centre, Arianna Hunsicker’s eyes lit up as she recalled winning not one, but five medals in para-swimming at the Canada Summer Games.

Arianna, who was born with a partial left hand, took home a silver and four bronze medals at the competition in Winnipeg, which ran from July 28 to Aug. 13.

“It was an amazing feeling once I got up there, winning the medals,” said the Cloverdale teen, who is heading into Grade 9 at Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary. “I was expecting nothing out of meet, I was expecting no medals. I was one of the youngest people there. Most people were, like, 22, and I’m only 14.

“It just felt so great.”

She said she ended up “destroying” her time in the first race of the competition, shaving 21 seconds off her time.

“I ended up seeing bronze in that race. It was really exciting, I didn’t expect it at all, I was overjoyed.”

The soft-spoken Surrey teen estimates she puts in about 15 hours of training at the pool every week, 49 out of 52 weeks a year, after joining the world of competitive swimming three years ago.

“I put a lot of work and effort into them and it all pays off in the end,” she said.

Arianna was one of the top two females selected in B.C. to compete in para-swimming at the competition.

Asked how her disability affects her swimming, Arianna said she doesn’t notice it much.

“It probably affects balance, and you can’t pull as much water,” she said. “I’m more used to it, but it probably affects you in some sort of way.”

It may affect her, proud mom Andrea Hunsicker chimed in, “but she’s matching times at an able-body level. She has faster times than able bodied people which is making her so successful in the paras. She’s pushing herself and beating her own times.”

photo

Andrea called her daughter’s commitment “mind-blowing.… In this past year, to see where her focus was, she pays attention to sleep habits, her diet, how much exercise she’s getting, things like that. Things you wouldn’t see a normal 14-year-old do. She could be out at the mall and out with her friends but she’s so committed to her goals.

“She still gets time for that, because we make sure she does,” Andrea added. “We don’t want to see burn out. So if there’s things she wants to do on her off time we let her do it, because she needs it.”

But there’s not much spare time, admitted Arianna, who graduated Grade 8 last year with a 4.0 GPA.

“It’s school, then swim and if I have a day off I usually just hang out with friends,” said Arianna.

“It’s hard to fit in homework, there are some late nights,” the teen added with a grin.

When she’s not doing all that, Hunsicker also works with the War Amps Child Amputee Program (CHAMP).

Last March, she attended a CHAMPS conference in Vancouver and this year she graduated to what is called a “junior counsellor” where she helps mentor the younger kids within the organization.

Arianna has her sights set on another national meet in 2018 and has been urged to sign up for the NextGen training Tokyo camp.

“She’s on a path where if things continuing going well, she’ll be eligible for selection for the next Olympics,” said mom Andrea.

“It’s exciting,” remarked Arianna. “I’m hoping to make it to the high goal, in the end, the Olympics.”

She urged others with disabilities to go for it.

“Just know that even though you have a disability – no leg, or some sort of disease or whatever – that you can still do whatever you want. Look at me, I’m going to competitions and gaining medals so if I can do it, you can do it as well.”

Arianna’s medals were five of 146 won by Team BC at the competition this year. It’s the most ever earned by the province at a Canada Summer Games. B.C. finished second in the medal count, behind Team Ontario with 212 medals.

amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

 

VIDEO: Medals galore for Surrey teen para-swimmer at Canada Summer Games

Just Posted

Popular event/party band March Hare will appear in an online streamed performance Friday (June 18) featuring their salute to music of the `60s and `70s as part of BEC Entertainment’s Grand Summer Virtual Concert series. (Contributed photo)
White Rock-based BEC Entertainment continues Friday-night virtual concerts

March Hare and California Surf Incorporated featured

Surrey City Hall. (File photo)
OUR VIEW: Surrey public hearing theatrics juvenile

They are called public hearings for a reason. Not public spectacles.

Rahim Manji owns and operates the Hollywood 3 Cinemas in Newton, along with the Caprice in South Surrey, a theatre in Duncan and another in Pitt Meadows. “I think right now it feels different than last June, it just does,” Manji said. “I’m a lot more optimistic, with more people calling, more people out and getting vaccinated, so I think the comfort level is a lot better.” (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Surrey movie theatre operators reopen and rejoice, even with 50-max capacity

‘We have been one of the hardest-hit industries’

A sign warning of a pack of coyotes hangs near 2660 Croydon Dr. (Aaron Hinks photo)
South Surrey woman sounds alarm after encounter with pack of coyotes

Susan Martin said three full-grown coyotes were lurking around her home

(Delta Police Department photo)
Delta police searching for Surrey woman missing at Centennial Beach

Wenyan Lan, 54, reported missing when she didn’t come home from a crabbing/clam digging trip June 14

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
VIDEO: Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

St. Joseph's Mission site is located about six kilometres from Williams Lake First Nation. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake First Nation to search residential school site for unmarked graves

St. Joseph’s Mission Indian Residential School operated from 1886 to 1981

Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lotto Max jackpot goes unclaimed again

42 of the 64 Maxmillion prizes of $1 million were won, the majority were sold in Ontario

FILE - This July 6, 2017 file photo shows prescription drugs in a glass flask at the state crime lab in Taylorsville, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Contaminants in generic drugs may cause long-term harm to DNA: B.C. researcher

Scientist says findings suggest high volume overseas facilities require strict regulation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., on April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Labour shortages, closed borders major obstacles to B.C. restaurant, tourism restarts

Industry expert says it won’t start to recover until international travellers can visit

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Most Read