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Special Olympic athletes staying in shape through virtual challenges

Posted at 6:57 PM, Apr 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-19 21:57:24-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Just because they are sheltering-in-place and quarantining at home, doesn't mean Special Olympic athletes in Kern County are ditching exercise.

Special Olympics Southern California has started the virtual "Healthy Lifestyle Challenge" for athletes around the state to compete against each other and stay fit at the same time. There are two videos released every day that participants can watch and earn points for.

There is a nutrition, hydration and fitness challenge in each video.

“We have a code word that's released throughout the video and it can be said at any time throughout the video so you’re supposed to be paying attention and playing along with the whole video to get that code word," Special Olympics Development Coordinator Veronica Smiddle said.

Once you hear the code word you log in your daily tracker and it earns points for your team. The team with the most points at the end will be given medals at the Fall games.

The challenges have proven to be a great way to encourage comradery during a time that can be isolating.

“Not being able to see their friends and their coaches and their Special Olympics family each week has been a challenge," Smiddle said. "So we want to make sure they stay connected, making sure that no one feels alone during this time.”

Anyone can participate in the challenges. Visit their website to learn more.