USA Games – Day 2
Hello from Seattle!
Competition began today and first up for Vermont was Aaron Sanville in the 100M dash. When Aaron Sanville got the call that he was invited to USA Games selection camp last December, he made a commitment to training hard and getting in shape. Since then, he has stopped drinking soda, changed his diet, and started working out regularly with his coach, Selina. Aaron reports that between track workouts and running a loop near his house, he's now running 8-10 miles per week.
Well it all paid off today! Aaron was entered with a time of 16.13 and had set a goal of breaking the 16 second mark. Aaron finished the 100M dash with a personal best of 14.69 taking home 5th place. Way to go Aaron!
We then hustled over to the Marv Harshman arena to catch the Unified basketball team in their first game against Arizona. In order to provide a competitive experience for players of all abilities, Special Olympics offers three models of play in Unified basketball: Recreational, Player Development, and Competitive. Currently, all Unified basketball in Vermont (both school, VPA, and community-based) follows the Player Development model where partners help facilitate play but do not shoot. All teams competing at the 2018 USA Games will follow the Competitive model. This was a change for our team but several months of practice paid off.
The game started off with Wayne winning the tip-off. Gary quickly drained two 3-pointers followed by Kevin for 1 at the free throw line. Team Vermont was quickly up 12-0 and took half at 19-5. In the end, Team Vermont overpowered Arizona 37-21! You can watch the second half of the game on the Special Olympics Vermont Facebook page and I will livestream the game against Minnesota on Facebook tonight (7:15pm PT/10:15pm ET).
No races for our swimmers today but they did have a chance to check out the pool and get in a workout. We look forward to Zada's 50 fly tomorrow.
Aaron Sanville 100M
Did you know that Special Olympics is the largest global public health organization dedicated to serving people with intellectual disabilities? All participants in the USA Games have access to Special Olympics Healthy Athletes screenings in eight disciplines: Fit Feet, Fun Fitness (screen for flexibility, functional strength, balance, and aerobic condition), Health Promotion (BMI, blood pressure, bone density, healthy habits, tobacco avoidance), Healthy Hearing, Opening Eyes, Special Smiles, and Strong Minds (emotional wellbeing). Based on these screenings, participants have access to glasses, hearing aids, and other follow-up care. Athletes and Unified partners who complete four Healthy Athletes screenings including Fit Feet will receive a pair of Brooks sneakers. All of this is made available at no charge to the athlete thanks to amazing partners and sponsors.
Speaking of amazing Special Olympics supporters, I want to thank Terri Parent for flying out to Seattle to be our team photographer and capture all of the amazing moments out here. Terri is a CVU parent as well as a Principal with Stride Creative Group, a Burlington-based agency that has been helping Special Olympics Vermont get more spiffy over the past year. You can see some of Terri's amazing photos throughout the week in the USA Games Facebook album.
Erin Watson reflects on the first basketball games at USA Games
Additional USA Games coverage