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Donovan Martin Garib

Donovan Martin Garib, 18, from Trincity, has prevailed over adversity in his short but eventful life.

He loves to swim, he’s a member of the Sea Hawks Swim Club, as well as the Special Olympics T&T team and had also represented the country at the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi.

Donovan said “I have a lot of medals in swimming, but my prize medals are the ones that I won in Abu Dhabi; two gold medals, one in the 100m freestyle and the 4x50m freestyle, and a bronze medal in the 50m butterfly.

“My most memorable moment from the games was when I won the 100 m freestyle race, coming out of the pool and looking up in the stands and seeing my mom crying tears of joy and cheering me on.

“What I like about swimming is the training with my peers and coaches and competing.

“I got into swimming to keep physically fit and I grew to love it when it became competitive.

“Being a child with meningitis, I’m not treated any differently in the pool by my peers. I work just as hard as they do or even harder.”

He said he also did a lot of bicycle riding when his mom goes walking and his dad goes running.

Donovan revealed that his role models in swimming are Goerge Bovell and Dylan Carter.

He counts as one of his mentors his big brother, Dominique Garib, a DJ. H admires all that his sibling does and tries to follow in his footsteps.

The Eternal Light Community Vocational School Form Five student’s favourite subjects are woodworking and IT.

Donovan said he would be very excited to see his school friends and teachers in person at school after such a long time being at home because of COVID-19.

His favourite food is doubles and barbecue and his favourite dessert is cheesecake.

Donovan does not have a favourite television show, but his favourite movie series is the Fast and Furious genre. He enjoys all kinds of music and counted among his interests car racing.

He would like to be a swim coach for Special Olympics to help children just like him.

Donna Garib, Donovan’s mother, shared that as parents, she and her husband, Allan had always encouraged Donovan in his endeavours.

She revealed that Donovan had overcome many challenges from a very young age after getting meningitis at four months old.

Garib said from physiotherapy to speech therapy and many other challenges, he had always been a fighter in his own right.

Allan stressed that Donovan’s disability due to meningitis has not and will not keep him back in whatever he does.

His parents said what they admired most about their son was his tenacity and never-give-up attitude.

Allan wanted to thank all the people who worked with Donovan through the years to the present, some of them are Lisa Debie, his first swim coach, Terry Ann Evelyn, Sea Hawks swim coach and Stephen Telfer, Special Olympics T&T swim coach.