March 06, 2017 | SOI General: Headquarters

Nick: Believe in Yourself

By Kate McKenna

Nick Hilton's mother has always encouraged him to believe in himself

Nick was picked as an alternate for the 2017 Games, but would not stop believing that, somehow, he'd make the final team.View Story Nick was picked as an alternate for the 2017 Games, but would not stop believing that, somehow, he'd make the final team. He's a student at the Beekman Center in Lansing, Mich., which serves students with intellectual and emotional impairments, also providing life skills and transition activities.  At 24, Nick is on track to receive a certificate of completion in 2018. This would be a huge accomplishment, not only because of what it will mean to him, but because of what it will mean to his mother. She works the overnight shift as a hospital custodian. They don’t see each other much because when his mother comes home from work, Nick has left for school. Then came the news that Nick had made the final USA snowshoeing team! The first thing he needed was a passport, but Nick wasn’t able to show proof of residency. They finally found a shutoff notice from the cable company. That was good enough. Nick is counting his blessings for this once-in-a-lifetime chance to shine on the world stage.

About Kate McKenna: Editorial & Multimedia Director, Special Olympics
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March 03, 2017 | North America: Michigan

Special Olympics Row Clinic Says "U Can Row 2"

By Symantha Misale

In a room full of rowing machines, Special Olympics Michigan athletes and volunteers cheer each other on as they work to complete the 500-meter rowing challenge.View Story In a room full of rowing machines, Special Olympics Michigan athletes and volunteers cheer each other on as they work to complete the 500-meter rowing challenge. In the center of all of the action is Terry Smythe, Co-Owner of 'U Can Row 2' of Houghton, Michigan. Previously a medical fitness director at Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital, her job included community outreach. With this, she noticed that many of the cognitively impaired students were in need of a fitness outlet to help maintain their health. With some luck, Smythe received a local community grant to start a program for students to come to a fitness center and be physically active. Initially, the program didn't include rowing, however that did not stop the students' determination to learn about the machine. Special Olympics Michigan currently does fundraising with CrossFit through an event called the Row Raisers, which Smythe finds extremely valuable for athletes.

About Symantha Misale: Symantha Misale is a marketing and communications intern with Special Olympics Michigan.
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March 03, 2017 | North America: Michigan

Fit Feet Helps Athletes Take a Step in the Right Direction

By Symantha Misale

Foot deformities, skin disorders, nail conditions, eczema, ill-fitting shoes and other concerns are what the clinicians at Special Olympics Michigan Fit Feet are concerned with.View Story Foot deformities, skin disorders, nail conditions, eczema, ill-fitting shoes and other concerns are what the clinicians at Special Olympics Michigan Fit Feet are concerned with. "Are you ticklish?" Bill Thompson, a Great Lakes Bay Medical screener for Special Olympics Michigan asks an athlete as she laughs and shakes her head. Thompson begins to examine the athlete's feet, and occasionally makes notes for himself. He explains that they are there to screen the athletes and make further recommendations to a podiatrist in the athlete's hometown. For seven years, Thompson has been screening with Special Olympics Michigan after graduating from Central Michigan University and owning four running specialty stores, including one in Mt. Pleasant called 'Runners'.

About Symantha Misale: Symantha Misale is a marketing and communications intern at Special Olympics Michigan.
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