Special Olympics Virtual Summer Games Runs ‘Fit 5’ Training Challenge

Athletes from all over the Mitten, with different abilities and skills, are wrapping up their training for the Special Olympics 2020 Virtual Summer Games (SOMI) with the ‘Fit 5‘ challenge.102660773 10157187172691766 3197942312554463232 O

From squats to sprints – athletes, and anyone else who wants to get active, were encouraged to take part in this 6-week health and wellness program.  “It gets us ready to compete and there are different levels,” said health messenger and athlete, Amanda Weller. “So there’s like push-ups and off-wall sits, and exercises for any skill level”. Weller has been competing in the Special Olympics Michigan Games for quite a while now and said that “everyone should get involved. Be an athlete, or a volunteer, or even a fan! I love the competition and the team”.

Like many of the athletes, Weller was disappointed to find out that the games had gone virtual, but this gave her a chance to recuperate from an injury. “I miss being able to compete at CMU this year, but doing it virtually is going to be a little bit easier competition for us. I’m still doing the softball throw, the standing long jump, and the frisbee throw. But – I’ve been dealing with multiple injuries through all seasons with sports. So, this is a great time for me to kind of cut back, and compete in some easier competition”.

So far, the changes made to this year’s competition have been well received. Volunteers and coaches have been able to help train and encourage the athletes virtually – with fitness routines, healthy recipes, and sports refreshers on SOMI’s Facebook, Twitter, and website.

“Our volunteers and coaches have had to quickly adapt to the sudden change,” expressed SOMI volunteer and athlete, Sara Gallick. “We all came together though to help guide and train our wonderful athletes to stay fit and stay healthy”.

The kick-off to the actual games will take place from July 19 through July 25. The athletes can choose from a list of nearly 20 sporting events including volleyball, gymnastics, basketball, weightlifting, and various fitness activities. Each sport must be completed from the safety of their own home and they will be required to submit their scores. Participants will then be able to see how they stacked up against those competing across the state. There will also be virtual, interactive activities across SOMI’s social media channels including opening and closing ceremonies and a victory dance. A complete list of activities can be found here.

SOMI is also asking for help from the fans. “Every year the stands are full of supporters, families, and friends, and this year we wanted to keep that momentum going – but in a different way,” said Gallick. “We are asking for some virtual fans in the stands”.

Here’s how you can help out:

– Record a 5-10 second clip of you, your friends, family, or co-workers yelling and cheering for our athletes. Shoot the video horizontally (like a TV screen) and not vertically.
– Send it to somi@somi.org or upload it here.
– They will piece the clips together and make a big “Virtual Fans in the Stands” video to share with our athletes so they can watch it while they train and compete for the Virtual Summer Games.

For more information about the Special Olympic 2020 Virtual Summer Games and their ‘Fit 5’ Challenge, click here.


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