HUMBOLDT — Tia Zimmerman is continuing her celebrated athletic career, now with accolades from both Special Olympics Saskatchewan and Special Olympics Canada.
The Englefeld athlete who competes with the Humboldt Special Olympics received the Special Olympics Saskatchewan Athlete of the Year award at their banquet on Sept. 21 in Yorkton. A little more than a week later, Zimmerman was announced as the winner of the Special Olympics Canada Athlete of the Year as well with the national organization posting the awards list on their website on Sept. 30.
The program at the Yorkton banquet described Zimmerman as a respectful and supportive teammate who celebrated the success of her fellow athletes:
“Tia is a true role model for athletes that have intellectual disabilities. Simply put, Tia has inspired others to be champions and encourages her teammates to be the best they can.”
Special Olympics Canada spoke about how quickly Zimmerman developed her championship swimming skills, speaking about her determination and confidence.
“[Tia] was determined to learn how to dive and flip-turn as well. She approached every challenge head-on and excelled,” wrote Special Olympics Canada on their recipient list.
Zimmerman is the only Special Olympics Canada award recipient from Saskatchewan and will be at the ceremony to receive her award on Nov. 14 in Toronto.
Janice Weber, Humboldt Special Olympics’ president, said a win like Tia’s puts the organization on the map.
“To have one of our athletes accomplish what Tia has is so awesome. Tia has put in long hours and has worked so hard and she has a great attitude. She deserves these awards.”
The 18-year-old is in Grade 12 at Englefeld School and competed this past summer at the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi bringing home gold in the women’s relay and bronze in the 800-metre freestyle.