Team Wisconsin swimmer reviews the film Swim Team

October 3, 2017 Blog, Events, Featured

SOWI swimmer Steve Woodard with his parents and brother at the Swim Team screening

SOWI swimmer Steve Woodard with his parents and brother at the Swim Team screening

On Friday, September 29 and Saturday, September 30, 2017 three of the eight members of Team Wisconsin’s swim team for the 2018 USA Games attended a screening of the film Swim Team at the Milwaukee Film Festival. SOWI was a community partner for the film in the festival. Steve Woodard of Portage and his family attended the Friday screening while Chris Cherne of Brown Deer and Kim Raatz of Greendale attended Saturday’s screening.

Beginning this week, the film is airing on PBS’s POV series that showcases critically-acclaimed documentaries. You can check your local listings or view the film on the PBS POV website.

Kim Raatz (L) and Chris Cherne at the screening of Swim Team

Kim Raatz (L) and Chris Cherne at the screening of Swim Team

SOWI athlete Steve Woodard loved the film so much he wrote a review of it. It has been lightly edited for clarity.

Swim Team review by Steve Woodard 

I’ve just seen the documentary Swim Team. It’s about the Special Olympics swim team from New Jersey called “The Hammerheads.” The team is mostly on the autism spectrum. The producer/director Lara Stolman films three of the athletes of the team throughout their practice meets and the state competition.

It has great coaches Mike and Maria McQuay, who started the team for their son Mikey. They work great with athletes. I would like to work with these coaches someday.

What I like best about this documentary:

  • It shows a good quality in no matter what your disability is you can do anything.
  • I love how every member of the team helps the other out during their ticks/episodes from their disability.
  • There is a part where in one of their events, a swimmer does the wrong stroke on a medley relay. He does a freestyle stroke (AKA a front crawl) instead of the breaststroke, and the team gets disqualified. Yes this happens all the time, and you feel really bad. The team accepts the outcome and they receive an awesome participation medal. Trying and doing your best you should still get rewarded. Remember “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”
  • One of the athletes got to go to the USA Games in New Jersey 2014.

I give this film a 10 out of 10 because it shows good sportsmanship and very great athletes. It’s awesome how coaches and parents work with the athletes. The filmmaker did very well showing what was supposed to be shown.


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