There was no shortage of excitement at the Special Olympics USA Games.
Jarod Falk, 17, the Oshkosh North High School swimmer who trains at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, medaled in his first two events in Seattle, Washington—taking home gold in a come-from-behind win in the 200 meter freestyle July 2 and a bronze medal for third place in the 100 meter backstroke July 3.
Falk, in the 200 Free, topped six other male swimmers in his division from across the U.S. He won the race in 2:34:14, beating the next closest finisher, Ty Breuux of Louisiana, who finished in 2:39:61. Falk, who at one point was in third in the race, powered to the top spot at the finish.
“Jarod just earned his first gold medal—he will be on the podium this evening,” Coach Debbie Hoff said after the first event. “It was an AMAZING race.”
UW Oshkosh swimming and diving coach Chris Culp was thrilled to hear about Falk’s success. He said Hoff had been working extensively with Falk leading to the Olympics.
“We are proud of him,” Culp said.
Falk placed fifth in his third race in as many days, the 100 meter freestyle on July 4. He finished the 100 meters in a personal-record time of 1:09.86. Falk capped off his week helping Team Wisconsin place second in the 4×100 medley with a time of 6:42.37.