by Beau Wicker Sports Editor
---- — It will be difficult for Sam Fawley to top what he accomplished the last time he competed at the Special Olympics USA Games.
But the swimming standout will give it a try.
Fawley will once again swim at the USA Games. This year he will compete at four events at the Games held in Princeton, N.J.
Team Indiana track coach Jim Callaghan and Team Indiana bowling coach Cinda Milan will also represent Special Olympics Cass County at the USA Games.
Fawley won gold in the 4x100 yard freestyle relay, silver in the 25 butterfly and bronze in both the 50 and 100 freestyle events at the 2010 USA Games in Lincoln, Neb.
This year he is competing in the 100 breaststroke, 100 IM, 4x50 medley relay and 500 free in New Jersey.
“I am very, very excited and very much looking forward to it,” Fawley said. “I think it’ll be more fun than the last time in Lincoln, Neb.
“One thing is unlike in Lincoln, Neb., where everything was at one site, everything will be spread out in the state of New Jersey.”
Fawley said there is something fun planned for every night he will be in New Jersey. He’s set to fly out of Indianapolis on Saturday. The Opening Ceremonies are Sunday at the Prudential Center in Newark. Competition will run Monday through Friday, with closing ceremonies Friday night at the Sun National Bank Center in Trenton.
An example of the activities planned is a dinner cruise on the Hudson River that will go past Manhattan.
The 26 year old has lost 30 pounds in recent years due to his hard work. He swims 2,500 yards every week. He added the physical labor he performs at his janitorial job at Peak Community Services five nights a week also helps him stay strong.
He thinks he’s swimming faster than ever but he’s not sure how he will stack up to the competition in New Jersey as compared to how he did in Nebraska.
One of his gold medal teammates on his relay team, Mitch Johnson from Muncie, will also swim on his medley relay team this year. Johnson will swim the freestyle leg of the relay while Fawley will swim the breaststroke.
The 500 free is an event he competed at in high school at Logansport. Swimming 2,500 yards per week, he knows he can still complete the long swim. It will be his showcase event, as he said he will swim it with a spotlight on him with a special celebrity guest in attendance.
“It’s something new this year. Everyone has a showcase event,” he said.
Fawley, a 2006 LHS grad, also earned a technical certificate from Ivy Tech.
New Jersey will be the 26th state Fawley will visit.
“It’ll be a very busy week,” he said. “It’s a full schedule of fun.
“I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve been having trouble sleeping I’m so excited.”