A REDLANDS swimmer is celebrating Special Olympics victory after securing podium finishes, including first place, at Dubai.
Aliesha Sneesby, 22, picked up gold in the 100-metre butterfly after setting a personal best time.
She also landed bronze in the 200-metre individual medley, before helping her 100-metre relay team race to place second by completing the butterfly leg.
Aliesha's mother Carol Sneesby said she could not be more proud of her daughter, who also set a personal best to place fifth in the 200-metre breaststroke.
She said Aliesha was compelled to compete after picking up swimming as 14-year-old.
"She loves competition and she loves to win," Ms Sneesby said. "It's great."
Aliesha, who has Down Syndrome, returned from Dubai just last month with her friend and fellow sportswoman Katrin Culla, 19.
The two had gone gone to the Middle East to compete at the Special Olympics World Games at Dubai with about 20 other Australian swimmers.
Katrin, who is based at Carindale, picked up gold in the 50-metre freestyle, placed fourth in the 100-metre freestyle and helped her team earn bronze in the 50-metre relay.
Ms Sneesby said the real victory, for her, was watching her daughter and others like her exercise independence.
"She is more confident and independent," Ms Sneesby said.
"She has made great friends on the Special Olympics team ... it makes her mix with other people."
The Special Olympics World Games are held every four years for athletes with intellectual disabilities.
Ms Sneesby said Aliesha had qualified to compete after competing in nationals at Adelaide in September.
She had trained seven times every week with the Redlands Special Olympics Club, which operated aquatic squads from the Clem Jones Centre at Carina.
Ms Sneebsy said her daughter had travelled extensively with sport. She had previously visited Mexico, Italy and Canada to compete in the Down Syndrome World Games.
Aliesha was preparing for national competition in August.
Ms Sneesby said the benefits of sport were immense, helping people to keep fit and active with others.