Good day to all our readers! As we point our attention to the upcoming 2022 Special Olympics USA Games, I hope you are ready for a magical event full of competition and togetherness!
There has been so much to plan out for a national sporting event. As part of our commitment to athlete leadership, we have had an Athlete Input Council to guide the direction of USA Games. We have also had a 20-week Fitness Challenge to prepare us for the USA Games, as supporters, fans, and most importantly the athletes who will compete with strength and dignity.
Throughout the Fitness Challenge, Special Olympics Program staff have been uplifting us with tips and tricks. I have been privileged to serve as the Special Olympics Colorado representative for the Fitness Challenge - what an outstanding opportunity. We have been encouraging the “steppers” to think about the importance of balanced nutrition, daily workouts, and strong messages for the mind.
From an athlete's perspective, these are tools to prepare for any massive competition like the Special Olympics USA Games. These tools will help the athletes to perform at their best both physically and mentally.
As we prepare for the final countdown to the USA Games, I am feeling satisfied and excited with my own preparation. It helps my mental state and well-being to know that I do daily workouts, have balanced nutrition, and perform Strong Minds activities. I value the accountability that comes from updating the tracking system we were given for the Fitness Challenge. I really loved seeing the progression of my activities and the badges earned for each category like fitness, wise food choices, hydration, healthy habits, and strong minds. Overall, it gave me feelings of joy and pride. Even though I am not going to compete at the Games, I have really enjoyed joining the athletes and preparing just like they have been.
The virtual message board in this challenge is my favorite way to see what everyone else in the nation is doing. It gives all athletes a place to share their insights and highlights of their week. This is just an amazing chance to experience a nationwide community.
For the athletes who are competing, the months of preparation and getting in the right mindset will really help you in your events. Please continue to train hard, have fun, rest as needed, and remember that your coaches and your family will be cheering you on throughout the USA Games in Orlando. I want to let the coaches and volunteers know that your support for the athletes who are competing is much appreciated too.