Kirsty strikes gold in LA

Team GB at the Special Olympics Southern Californian Invitational event in Los Angeles with pop icon Nicole Scherzinger
Team GB at the Special Olympics Southern Californian Invitational event in Los Angeles with pop icon Nicole Scherzinger

Bexhill swimmer Kirsty Stewart won a gold medal at a major international event in the United States.

Stewart struck gold in the 50m breaststroke while representing Great Britain at the Special Olympics Southern Californian Invitational event in Los Angeles.

At the end of the same day, the GB 4x50m freestyle relay team gained fourth place, just missing out on a bronze medal by inches. The following day, Stewart gained fourth place in the 100m freestyle and eighth in the 50m freestyle - two very tough competitions.

In all, the GB team won four gold, five silver and three bronze medals - a tremendous achievement considering the team had little time to get over the 11½-hour flight and acclimatise to the eight-hour time difference.

The games started with the opening ceremony where the GB contingent of four swimmers and four athletes along with their coaches took part in the parade of athletes. In total, there were 1,500 local athletes and 300 invited athletes from 13 countries across the world.

The team was introduced and photographed with Nicole Scherzinger, Special Olympics Great Britain’s ambassador. Stewart is already back in training with Bexhill Swimming Club for her next competition in Reading later this month.