Special Olympics Counties athlete Sam Muir-James is somewhat of a rock-star in Special Olympics circles.
Over the past few years the 29-year-old has made headlines for his ocean swimming prowess, competing in national mainstream events around New Zealand. Over the 2013/2014 summer he swam in five different ocean swims and produced some enviable times in often-difficult swimming conditions.
The LA2015 Games will be a dream come true for Sam to represent New Zealand on the international stage. He was selected as a reserve for the 2011 World Summer Games in Athens, Greece. This gave him the impetus to train even harder and Sam went on to compete at every Tier 1 event in Auckland in a bid to qualify for the LA2015 Games.
When Sam first joined Special Olympics he trained in athletics and competed at the Auckland and Christchurch National Summer Games in this sport. He then turned his attention to aquatics and competed at the 2009 National Summer Games in Palmerston North and the 2013 National Summer Games in Dunedin. Sam also plays basketball for Special Olympics Papakura (the team won silver at the Trans Tasman competition in Wellington in 2011), and mainstream basketball.
Sam’s long-term goal is to swim the Cook Strait and raise money for Autism Awareness.