When the Olympics and Paralympics air, you can find children around the world glued to their screens, dreaming of the day they might take the podium for their country.
Variety Kid Chase is living out those dreams.
Last month, Chase competed in swimming at the Move United Junior Nationals, which serves as a pipeline towards competing at elite level competitions – including the Paralympics. In fact, some of the athletes in the track and field events at Move United recently competed at the Paralympic trials.
Chase swam the 50M and 100M in freestyle for U14 males and won gold in both of his events! He even improved his time from his qualifying regional event in May.
This qualifying event also provided Chase with a classification in a ‘sports class’. For those new to para sports, the process of classification serves to “minimize the impact of impairment on the activity (sport discipline). Having an impairment thus is not sufficient. The impact of that impairment on the sport must be proved.” The end goal is to ensure that competition is fair and equal, and these classes are applied at the Paralympics as well. Click here to learn more about the process.
Chase's mom, Katie, shares that it is thanks - in part - to Chase's experience with Variety's Adventure Camp and Performing Arts programs that he was able to build up the confidence to compete at this level. At Camp, he is able to swim and also ice skate, climb rock walls, and much more, all alongside friends and counselors who support and encourage him every step of the way. In the inclusive Variety Theatre and Variety Children's Chorus programs, Chase is able to perform on stage, where his self-esteem sky rockets through a chance to be in the spotlight.
Congratulations to Chase on your big win in not just one, but two, events! You serve as an inspiration and an example of what you can do with a big dream and hard work. Maybe we’ll see you competing in the 2024 Paralympics!
Watch the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics now through September 5, 2021 – click here for the full schedule.