Roznowsky puts disability aside to swim his way into Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame

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Dave Leaderhouse
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Former Prince Albert Special Olympian Ryan Roznowsky shows off his medal haul from an international competition in Italy in 2012. Roznowsky, who now resides in Grand Prairie, Alta., will be in Prince Albert on April 26 when he is part of the 2014 induction class going into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame.

Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of profiles on the eight inductees to be honoured by the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame when a gala induction banquet is held April 26 in the Ches Leach Room at the Art Hauser Centre.

Ryan Roznowsky might have an intellectual disability, but he has certainly never let that slow him down in becoming a dominant Special Olympian for more than 20 years.

Born with Down Syndrome, Roznowsky has excelled at many sports with the bulk of his success having come in the pool.

In 1993, Roznowsky joined the Prince Albert Sharks Swim Club and immediately captured a spot on the provincial Special Olympic team. He has swam at Canadian Special Olympic Summer Games in Halifax, Sudbury, Prince Albert, Brandon, London, Ont., and Vancouver in addition to being part of Team Saskatchewan at the Jeux Canada Summer Games on two occasions where he had one of two spots that were set aside for swimmers with an intellectual disability.

After his family moved to Alberta in 2006, Roznowsky continued to swim for the Alberta Special Olympics and from 2008-14 he represented Canada four times at the Down Syndrome International Swimming Organisation World Championships. In those four trips he has won four gold medals, six silver and a bronze while getting to see places like Albufeira, Portugal, Taipei, Taiwan, Loano, Italy and Morelia, Mexico.

In total, Roznowsky has won 22 gold medals, four silver and three bronze at provincial and Canada Special Olympic summer games competitions in addition to the haul he brought home from his tours with Team Canada.

While swimming has seen him achieve his greatest accomplishments he has also had a great deal of success in bowling, floor hockey and track and field. Roznowsky said in an e-mail that he is thrilled with being included in this year’s class of inductees into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame.

“When Mrs. Grewcock phoned me to tell me I was going into the Hall of Fame I was really excited,” said Roznowsky. “I’m really looking forward to April 26.”

Roznowsky, who was recognized as Prince Albert’s 900 CKBI-Kinsmen Club athlete of the year in 2002, will be the first Special Olympian inducted into the athlete’s division in the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame when he will be honoured with Josef Tesar Jr, Amanda Dunn, Bob Coffin, Ward Howat, Pat Regel, the 1972 West Hill Flyers and the Prince Albert Sports Council at a gala celebration on April 26 in the Ches Leach Lounge at the Art Hauser Centre.

The former Saskatchewan Special Olympics male athlete of the year (2001) will be coming home to accept his honour in front of family, friends and plenty of fans. While Alberta is home now, Prince Albert will always be where he got his start and his success in all facets of sport is very deserving of the hall of fame honour.

Tickets for the event cost $40 each or a table of eight can be purchased for $500 with event sponsorship included in that fee. Tickets are available at the Community Services department in City Hall or they can be obtained by calling Ellen Grewcock at 306-980-6242 or Derek Smith at 306-980-6116.

 

 

 

Organizations: Prince Albert, Art Hauser Centre, Canadian Special Olympic Alberta Special Olympics Team Canada CKBI-Kinsmen Club Prince Albert Sports Council Community Services department

Geographic location: Alberta, Halifax, Sudbury Brandon London, Ont. Vancouver Canada Albufeira Portugal Taipei Taiwan Italy Morelia Mexico

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