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5NEWS Athlete of the Week: Mary Borman

Fayetteville native to represent the U.S. at the Down Syndrome World Swimming Championships in Portugal

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — While many of us are beginning to get ready for bed Fayetteville native Mary Borman and a team from the United States will soon be waking up for another day of competition.

Six hours ahead, Borman is in Portugal for the Down Syndrome World Swimming Championships.

“We are competing against 23 other countries around the world,” said Fayetteville native Mary Borman.

Games officially began Monday along with the opening ceremony.

Mary is a participant in the 50-, 100-, and 200-meter backstroke and 50-, 100-, 200- and 400-meter freestyle. She has been in competition since Sunday.

Mary’s love of the sport goes back as early as she can remember.

“I started swimming since I was about four and I started special Olympics when I was eight,” said Borman.

The trip to Portugal comes four years after Mary competed in the Down Syndrome World Swimming Championship in Canada. She then came home third in the world for 200-meter freestyle.

The Covid-19 pandemic postponed the biannual games and her hopes to medal again. The delay hasn’t stopped Mary from her excitement to compete.

“If I don’t have a medal that’s okay because I know I did my best, but if i did then I show the world I’ve done something about it.”

Mary and her teammates train twice a day, but some extra time in the water is alright with this University of Arkansas student.

“I joined swim club and I also joined a master swim team as well.”

Mary, her teammates, and swimmers from around the globe will continue to compete through Sunday.

The opportunity to swim and be an inspiration to others with Down Syndrome is a passion Mary hopes to continue to share.

“I just want people to reach their dreams. I want them to do anything because nothing is impossible, and I think that there is always something out there for anyone.”

Mary says after the Down Syndrome World Swimming Championship, she and her parents are taking a trip to Spain where she plans to get some rest and relaxation, take in the sights and history before heading back home to Fayetteville.

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