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September 27, 2012 | Europe Eurasia: Russia

Ninety Percent of Athletes at Russian Games Get Health Screenings

By Karl Hejlik

A volunteer tests an athlete's flexibility - one of four assessments made during a FUNfitness screening.

Healthy Athletes is a completely voluntary activity for athletes at Special Olympics events, so we are always very excited when a strong majority of athletes and their coaches choose to attend and receive free health screenings. During the Special Olympics Russia International Athletics Meeting in Ioshkar-Ola, Republic Mariy El, volunteers at Healthy Athletes were able to see 90% of the competing athletes when they offered FUNfitness and Health Promotion screenings. “They asked a lot of questions about my legs and arms, how strong I became, can I or can I not run. I liked the doctors – they are so kind," said Anastasia Belousova, an athlete from Lyulpany village of the Medvedevsky district. Prior to the event, a specialized seminar for doctors and volunteers of the Republic was held to train them on the specific health needs of people with intellectual disabilities. More than 50 people received training, which will benefit them at future Healthy Athletes events as well as in their day-to-day lives as medical professionals.

About Karl Hejlik: I am Senior Manager, Health and Research Communications for SOI Healthy Athletes

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