Fort Worth swimmer to make a splash at Special Olympics
It's count-down time for Ashton Smith: She joins 7,000 other athletes for the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates March 6.
Ashton, 32, is the only swimmer from Texas and the only Fort Worth athlete to compete in the flagship event for athletes with intellectual disabilities. Ashton will show her swimming prowess in the 200-yard individual medley in the High-Performance Division.
"I think it's an opportunity to help minorities and put African Americans on the map for swimming," Ashton said, adding she is excited about "being able to see a different country because I've never been to that part of the world."
For more than a year Ashton has received assistance from FWHS through the Housing Choice Voucher program. She lives independently in what she considers a beautiful new apartment community near downtown Fort Worth. Ashton's Social Security Disability check helps cover her share of the rent, and HUD funding covers the rest.