'I felt proud of myself,' says Yellowknife Special Olympian who took home bronze

Yellowknife swimmer Chris Strus is celebrating his success at the 2019 Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi.

He finished third in his division in the 25-metre backstroke race last week.

"I was really shocked about it and so I felt proud of myself. I kept going, I didn't quit and I did my best, hard as I can," said Strus.

Strus is a two-time Special Olympian. He's previously won three gold medals and one silver. In 2018, Strus went to the Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in Nova Scotia, which is where he qualified to represent Canada at this year's World Games in the United Arab Emirates.

Chris loves to get medals. - Lynn Elkin, Special Olympics Northwest Territories

"Chris loves to get medals, and so he would be very happy that he won," said Lynn Elkin, a representative for Special Olympics Northwest Territories.

"He has had a fantastic time and, hopefully, has been an excellent representative of the Northwest Territories and Canada."

Chantal Dubuc/CBC

He put in the hours of strength training and trained three times a week in Yellowknife with his coach Tanis Baile. 

Strus met many competitors from other countries, and he has the hardware to show for it. He came back with pins he exchanged with other athletes from countries like Costa Rica, Brazil and the U.S.

The next Special Olympics are in 2023 in Berlin, Germany. If Strus wants to be chosen to swim for Canada again, he said he'll have to keep up the hard work.