A Powerful Olympian

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In this week’s edition of ‘Time of Our Lives’, we meet Martin Smith.
Martin has been a member of the Special Olympics since he was 13 years old, and has represented Queensland in six National games in Athletics, Swimming, Basketball and Gymnastics. After representing Australia in two World Games for gymnastics, Martin is now taking up Powerlifting!
Read his inspiring interview below.

Tell us about you?
I love keeping fit. Going to the gym and Powerlifting. I work at Urban Extreme, a Ninja course, and really enjoy it, and helping children master something. I have always loved sport. Enjoy going to the movies.

What is your involvement with Down syndrome Queensland?
I have been a member of Down Syndrome Queensland since I was born. Have attended a couple of Down Syndrome swimming clinics.

What inspires you to do what you do? What gets you up in the morning?
My mum….
I enjoy my days, doing my fitness and going to the gym. As well as going bushwalking with my support worker, or going to the movies and learning to cook.

What are some of your achievements?
I have been a member of the Special Olympics since I was 13, I am now 40, and have represented Queensland in 6 National games in Athletics, Swimming, Basketball and Gymnastics, and represented Australia in 2 World Games for gymnastics, in LA 2015, and Abu Dhabi 2019. Since retiring from gymnastics, and taking up Powerlifting, I have been selected to represent Australia at the Worlds in Canada in October 2022. I also did Karate for 15 years, and gained my 2nd Dan Black belt, and was a Sensei. Alongside public speaking for Special Olympics as an Athlete Representative. I have also served on my local club committee as an athlete rep.

What are some of your challenges?
I cannot think of any that have concerned me.

What are your goals and ambitions for 2022?
My goal is to do the best I can at the Powerlifting Worlds, and to keep doing what I do. I love my life.

How long have you been involved with Down Syndrome Queensland?
My mum joined the Down Syndrome Association when I was born in 1981.

What advice would you give to someone with Down syndrome thinking about getting involved in powerlifting or any other sport?
Give it a try. Give all sports a try, until you find one that you enjoy doing. If you enjoy it, you will keep trying to get better.

What are the benefits of doing sport?
It keeps me fit and healthy. It is good for socialising and mixing with others. It gets you out and about and in the fresh air, which is good for you.

Do you have any other comments or information you would like to share?
Respect others and do not judge on disability.

#dsqeducation #downsyndrome #inclusion