Strand swimmer captures silver at Special Olympics

Surfside Beach resident Max Wolff made the cross-country flight to Seattle to compete in the Special Olympics’ Summer Games this week, and he will be setting off the airport’s metal detectors for the return trip.

Wolff won two silver medals in swimming, taking second place individually in the 50 meter freestyle and also helping Team South Carolina to a runner-up finish in the 4×100 relay. He also placed fourth in the 100 freestyle.

The 2017 graduate of St. James High almost got a taste of gold in the 50 meter backstroke. Wolff posted the fastest time at 56.22 seconds, more than 4 seconds ahead of the next finisher, but he was disqualified on a technicality.

Wolff gained national attention in his senior season at St. James when he was ruled ineligible for turning 19 before the season. The SCHSL ruled he could race against the clock, and fans and fellow swimmers gathered around the pool to cheer him on.

Wolff, who has Down Syndrome, saw video of his high school heats go viral after Olympian Rowdy Gaines retweeted a post with a positive message. He was also allowed to swim at the state meet and was presented with an award.

Photo contributed

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