October 10 2007
Nomore gets his gold for Zimbabwe!
08/10/2007 - Nomore Kwaramba has won a gold medal for Zimbabwe while competing in the swimming discipline at the 2007 Special Olympics which are currently running in Shanghai. Nomore, 22, is a youth from SOS Children's Village Waterfalls.
Nomore Kwaramba, an SOS youth from SOS Children's Village Waterfalls, has one a gold medal at the Special Olympics in Shanghai. Nomore, aged 22, won his gold medal in the M06 division of the 25m breaststroke finals. His time was 29.86 seconds, beating his previous time of 32.23 seconds which he set in the preliminary race. Nomore glided to the finish ahead of Salim Ahmad from Singapore.
Bonny Woodman, national director of Special Olympics Zimbabwe, who is at the event in Shanghai, was jubilant on Nomore's behalf. "He was just fantastic! We thought it was a silver, but he was called to get the gold and we are very delighted." Augustine Hwata, who is accompanying the team was just as excited having witnessed Nomore's attempt at gold, "what a stunning swim", he enthused.
Nomore beat his nerves as well as other competitors in the breaststroke race. Earlier in the day, Nomore had competed in the combined M3 and M4 men's 50m freestyle race. He was last off the blocks and then exited the pool prematurely, encouraged back in the pool to finish the race by volunteers assisting the athletes, Special Olympics officials and the spectators.
Finishing the race, Nomore was cheered on by the fans who had thronged the Shanghai Pudong Natatorium. Other competitors had also found the crowds and unfamiliar pool distracting and several had reacted in the same way as Nomore.
No one was sure if Nomore would hold his nerve in the breaststroke race, but he has proved, as he has done many times at home in Zimbabwe, that he is a very determined young man once he puts his mind to something.
Other Zimbabweans at the Special Olympics who have also honoured the country by winning medals include Trevor Zartmann and Shadreck Swarts who have both won bronze in the bocce (similar to lawn bowls) competition.
Although Nomore grew up in SOS Children's Village Waterfalls, as he became older he needed further stimulation and a chance for a little more independence, but in a more sheltered environment than the youth facility. Homefields, a local special education facility, agreed to take Nomore as a weekly boarder, so now he splits his time between there and the village. At Homefields, Nomore has built a good relationship with his 'house father', Killian, who has attended most of the training sessions with Nomore. Killian says of Nomore, "although he's not always very communicative and is intellectually challenged, he's very keen on his swimming."
Nomore's real break through in swimming came last year during competition held at a local high school. During this televised event, Nomore received a medal and a small taste of life as a celebrity.
The spirit of the Special Olympics is best captured by the oath that all athletes take at the start of the competition, "Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt"