For Palmerston North-based Rachel Oemcke the Special Olympics 2013 Asia Pacific Games gives her an opportunity to represent New Zealand, and meet new people.
“The best part of being a member of Special Olympics New Zealand is being with my friends and competing. I’m really looking forward to going away with the team and meeting new people, and swimming against others,” she says.
The accomplished swimmer is a strong supporter of people with intellectual disabilities and has presented at community events, including the New Zealand Down syndrome Association’s Annual General Meeting in 2011.
In 2007 Rachel was one of three award winners, recognised by His Royal Highness Prince Andrew, and then Governor General Anand Satyanand, during World Down syndrome Day. Rachel received accolades for her achievements in Special Olympics events and for her work at a local restaurant.