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Maxwell makes a mint with three golds at Westerns

Because of his incredible performances, the teen phenom heads off to two national events this summer.
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St. Albert's Reid Maxwell was in fine form during his weekend of competition at the Western Canada Championship April 21-24, 2022. Out of seven events, he took three gold medals, two silver, and a bronze. SWIM ALBERTA/Photo

Reid Maxwell was considered one of the breakout star swimmers during the 2022 Western Canada Championships held April 21 to 24 in Edmonton.

The 14-year-old W.D. Cuts student took six medals out of seven para swimming events, bringing home a pirate’s bounty of three gold medals, two silvers, and a bronze.

“He had a fantastic weekend,” said his mother, Fiona Maxwell.

On top of all that, he took the Male Para Aggregate Award for the highest individual point total based on team scoring points.

Para swimming events are for competitors with a variety of physical, visual, and cognitive impairments. A calculation is made to take the swimmer’s time with a figure based on the classification of the swimmer’s impairment, ending up with a final point total.

Maxwell is a transtibial amputee who was born without a lower right leg, though he competes without a prosthetic. He also has Prune Belly Syndrome, a rare disorder characterized by a lack of abdominal muscles, though you’d never know it from his performance in the pool.

He competed in 100-metre backstroke, 100-metre butterfly, 50-metre freestyle, 100-metre freestyle, 400-metre freestyle, 100-metre breaststroke, and the 200-metre individual medley. He dominated both the 50-metre freestyle with a time of 29.64 and the 100-metre butterfly with 1:12.85, a full eight-second count below his previous personal best. That counts two golds, with the third coming from the 100-metre freestyle where he reportedly surprised many veterans by dropping nearly six seconds from his previous best with a time of 1:04.39.

Caught midway through the Friday afternoon of his busy weekend competition schedule, the young Maxwell had few words, likely from needing to save up his energy before his next turn up on the block.

When asked about the diversity of events he was set to compete in and whether he had a favourite, he replied like a Spartan would.

“Most of the swimming events are pretty much the same,” he said, adding that he’s been training a long time.

It shows. His competition training regime, in case you’re wondering: “I just roll with it.”

He made it to the Alberta team for the Canada Summer Games, which run from Aug. 6 to 21 in Niagara. He has also qualified for the Canadian Junior and Senior Swimming Championships to be held in Montreal from July 25 to Aug. 1.

Scott Hayes

About the Author: Scott Hayes

Scott Hayes joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2008. Scott writes about the arts, entertainment, movies, culture, community groups, and charities. He also writes general news, features, columns, and profiles on people.
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