WASHINGTON, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — It’s been a tough couple months for athletes during the corona virus pandemic. Illinois Special Olympics was forced to cancel its spring games and its upcoming summer games, but that has not stopped area athletes from working towards their goals.
“As a coach, I’m not allowed to have practices with them, so they’re doing stuff on their own. Special Olympics has been sending out videos, they’re doing running, walking, different exercises,” Tazwood Warriors coach Scott Deatherage said. “Jumping jacks, calistenics, they got all sorts of things they are having them do, even dance parties.”
With formal practices at a hault, athletes on the Tazewood Warriors are still finding ways to stay active and get better every day. Some are exercising early in the morning, and some find unique workout partners.
“I run in the morning at seven and get home and eat breakfast, take a shower and eat breakfast,” Warriors athlete Kellen Ehrenhardt said. “So, I go out there and run and do exercises every day.”
“I’ve been running every day with my chiuaua. Walking and also throwing a toy and she goes and gets it,” Warriors athlete Jeremy Aldag said. :I put about 200 percent into a workout every day.”
The Special Olympics slogan rings true now more than ever… If I can’t win, let me be brave in the attempt. With no games being played, there are no winners being crowned, but that has not stopped these tremendous athletes from being brave.
“Not being able to be with them and work towards the spring games that we missed and the summer games, it gets you right in the heart, I miss being around them,” Deatherage said. “Just take it one day at a time, be happy and just continue to work.”
“We need to stay healthy and stay positive, but we’ll get through this,” Aldag concluded.