UPSTATE, S.C. (WSPA) – Many Fall events in South Carolina have been cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus, but one organization is keeping the momentum going for their teams and athletes.
Organizers at Special Olympics S.C. have created a new virtual challenge for athletes, where teams compete with one another from the safety of their own homes.
“Our physical therapist down in Charleston has put together some exercises that our athletes can do at home,” Leigh Lowery, director of communications at Special Olympics S.C., said.
For many special needs athletes, coming to terms with the cancellation of this year’s Special Olympics events has been difficult.
Paula White, mother to a special needs daughter named Emily with Pitt-Hopkins Syndrome and Special Olympics Area 12 director, said it’s been frustrating for her daughter to not be able compete this year.
“It makes it kind of hard once she gets into a routine, then get out of that routine to get into something else,” White said.
The Special Olympics is not only an event for competing in athletics, but it’s for special needs friends from around the state to come together every year and spend quality time with each other.
Organizers said this time of year, teams would be training in preparation for the Special Olympics games but many athletes are most vulnerable to COVID-19, which is why officials decided to start a challenge that allows teams to compete with each other and stay active virtually.
“This is going to be a 9 week challenge that our coaches, teams, families and individuals can register for for free. They can do activities each week to meet certain goals and record their points,” Lowery said.
Officials say their top priority is safety but they want athletes to know that everything they have at home is more than enough to keep them training.
The event is expected to start in September. For more information on the impact challenge, click here.