#ToTheMoonAndBack: Special Olympics Italy Athletes Walk to the Moon!

Diletta Martinelli, athletics and cross-country skiing champion, with the To The Moon And Back campaign logo.
Diletta Martinelli, athletics and cross-country skiing champion, with the To The Moon And Back campaign logo.

‘To The Moon And Back’ is the name of the exciting new initiative launched by Special Olympics Italy to keep the movement active now that restrictions in the country are being lifted. Athletes, families, coaches and friends of the movement are all welcome to participate, and the aim is to jointly cover 768,806 km, the exact distance it takes to reach the moon and get back on Earth. Everyone can contribute by walking, running or cycling!

Those interested in participating can simply download the Adidas Running app and sign up with either their email address or a social media account. Once the profile is created, participants should join the ’Special Olympics #ToTheMoonAndBack’ Group and become a part of this epic walk to the moon. In the group, it is also possible to check the distance already travelled and keep track of everyone’s progress. The app provides a ranking based on the distance covered by each member, and an award will be assigned to the most competitive walkers!

A group of walkers outside holding a Special Olympics Italia banner.
A group of walkers collecting miles for the challenge.

Alessandra Palazzotti, National Director for Special Olympics Italy, commented, “The endless empathy, love, sense of belonging, joy and dedication our athletes give us every day were the primary inspiration for this campaign. The name ’To the Moon and back’ comes from the American idiom and stands for ‘infinity.’ That is exactly how much our athletes inspire us every day.”

The first goal of the campaign is to reach the Moon by 21 July, to commemorate the day Neil Armstrong first walked there in 1969. More than 800 people have already joined the team, and it’s hoped that many others will get involved to help cover the remaining distance of 384,403 km before the end of the month!

Highlights from the Special Olympics Italy #ToTheMoonAndBack walk

So far, the athletes have responded with overwhelming enthusiasm to the challenge. For athlete Federico Correzzola, it’s a family affair! “My father and I covered 775 km in about two weeks, and we won’t stop until the end of this exciting challenge!” Federico told us. “We took up the challenge, even if it’s difficult. Regardless of what the final result will be, this [campaign] gives us the opportunity to show that even if we can’t get back to regular activities and competitions, we keep training every day.”

Along with the physical challenge, Special Olympics Italy has also set a digital challenge. The walkers are encouraged to show their progress online by sharing photos and videos of their activities with the hashtag #ToTheMoonAndBack. There are six categories and six prizes to compete for until 21 July. We cannot wait to cheer on the deserving winners!

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