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Kelowna Special Olympian stays physically and mentally fit amid COVID-19 pandemic

Click to play video: 'Special Olympian stays mentally and physically fit with family' Special Olympian stays mentally and physically fit with family
The pandemic has been hard on many of us but for Special Olympians it has been extremely difficult over the last 11 months with in-person programming and training cancelled a lot of the athletes have lost a big part of their lives. Sydney Morton reports about how a sister duo are staying in top shape physically and mentally. – Feb 2, 2021

Kassidy Rutledge hasn’t let the COVID-19 pandemic keep her from staying in shape.

The Special Olympian hasn’t missed a beat, still training six days a week.

“I have been working out lots at my home gym at home and I’ve done Special Olympics Zoom fitness classes,” said Rutledge.

“I’ve been doing lots of art and trying to keep in shape so I’ll be ready.”

She has been training with her sister, Kimberly, who is a volunteer with Special Olympics B.C.

Together, they beat the COVID-19 blues with endorphins.

Read more: Kelowna Motionball Marathon of Sport raises $60,000 for Special Olympics

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“We have a great relationship,” said Kimberly. “It’s fun, we get to do everything together when she was little it was so hard to get her in sports because she would start doing sports with her age group and she wouldn’t progress quite as quickly as the others in that group. So sometimes she would have to stick behind.

“So when she got to the Special Olympics all the sudden she was training people with all abilities and they trained Kassidy to her own ability which was so cool.”

Kassidy has been competing in the Special Olympics for the last 10 years in swimming, track and field and powerlifting. Now she is taking part in some of the Zoom fitness classes that Special Olympics B.C. is offering to almost 50,000 athletes to stay connected while we are told to stay apart.

Read more: Toronto athlete given lifetime achievement award from Special Olympics Canada

“Some of our coaches are doing wonderful programs online that are allowing (athletes) to challenge themselves to work out in their back yards or in their house,” said Dan Howe, Special Olympics B.C. President and CEO.

Howe says that it’s more important than ever for volunteers with Special Olympics BC to stay connected with athletes.

“The pandemic has taken its toll on people, it has not been easy for many people and that’s the case for people with intellectual disabilities,” said Howe.

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“Where the majority of your social context comes in or the majority of your ability to feel part of a community and when that is removed our virtual programs are an attempt to replace that.”

Special Olympics BC is also offering programming promoting not only physical fitness but mental fitness.

Click to play video: 'Marathon of Sport raises $60,000 in Kelowna for the Special Olympics' Marathon of Sport raises $60,000 in Kelowna for the Special Olympics
Marathon of Sport raises $60,000 in Kelowna for the Special Olympics – Sep 26, 2020

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