Native Detroiter AnQuniece Wheeler, who has been selected to represent the United States in the World Deaf Swim Championship in Brazil, will train lifeguards at the Adams-Butzel Recreation Center week.
Wheeler began her swim career at the Center at the age of 9. Now 19, she first competed as a child as part of the Detroit Recreation Swim Team. She went on to earn a spot on Martin Luther King High School’s swim team, leading to a full swim scholarship at Chowan University in North Carolina.
Her efforts led to her earning a spot on Team USA by the USA Deaf Sports Federation (USADF) and an invitation to compete in Brazil in August. She is currently trying to raise enough money to pay for her travel and expenses for her trip to Brazil.
Since 1935, USADF allows deaf athletes to compete in international Olympic Games adapted to ensure barrier-free participation. During the summer, Wheeler continues her involvement with Parks & Recreation by working as a lifeguard.
“There is so much talent and perseverance in the young people of Detroit and there is no better example than AnQuniece,” says Deputy Parks & Recreation Department Director, JJ Velez. “We are so proud that she is a product of the city’s recreation department swim program and that she is the kind of compassionate person who making it a point to give back to the program that she came out of. She is an inspiration to all of us.”