The Baltimore County Special Olympics swim team begins and ends each of its practices with a cheer.
"As a Special Olympian, what's your job?" asks Jay Silverman, the team's coach.
"Do our best," the swimmers respond.
"As a team, what's your job?" he continues.
"Support each other," they call back.
Perhaps none of his swimmers embody those values as much as Bill Sinton, 55, of West Towson, who competed in his 10nth edition of the Special Olympics Summer Games on Saturday at Towson University's Burdick Pool.
"Bill's a real team player," Silverman said. "One year, he was injured and couldn't swim for two, two-and-a-half weeks. But he never missed a practice. He was there cheering his teammates on every time."
That camaraderie was why Sinton's father, William Sinton, urged his son to participate in Special Olympics. Bill's mother, Marjorie, died of cancer in August 2011, and William Sinton signed his son up shortly after.
"I thought it would be good — the distraction — and it worked," William Sinton, 81, said.
Bill dedicates his performances to his mother and two friends, Tim Deterling and Robert Yates, who also have passed away.
He's accumulated quite a medal collection on his wall as a Special Olympian, and added to that collection Saturday in the 2012 edition of the Summer Games, swimming the third leg for the gold-medal winning team in the 4x50-meter unified freestyle relay.
Sitting in the first row of the pool bleachers with his walker leaning against the front railing, William Sinton was among the calmer parents Saturday.
He acknowledged that waiting for Bill's races can be a bit dull, but he enjoyed seeing Bill's teammates race as well. It's those other families that make it possible for Bill to continue competing.
William Sinton was recently diagnosed withParkinson's diseaseand can no longer drive, but Gerry and Patty Willse of Ruxton, whose son Ray swims with Bill, have pitched in to drive the Sintons to meets and practices.
Gerry Willse said he's happy to do it.
"Bill loves everything to do with the Special Olympics," he said. "He loves the whole thing."
When Bill finally emerged for the relay — the 50th race of the day in a busy slate of competitions at Towson University — he quickly scanned the crowd to find his father, who offered up a smile and a wave. As Bill turned the corner on the far side of the pool just a few seconds later, he turned for another wave.
"He's a bit of a ham," confided William Sinton, a retired Towson pediatrician.
They sought each other's glances again in the awards room, where Bill and his teammates were waiting to get their gold medals after the relay.
Using his rolling walker as a wheelchair, William Sinton inched himself away from the crowd on his tip-toes to a place where he could watch his son, who was chatting with other participants until his moment came.