The first virtual Special Olympics in Connecticut is in the books ... and it was a success.
Just check the video tape.
“I was really excited to see all the people that responded to the videos of the athletes and encouraged them by name in the comments,” Debbie Horne, communications and marketing director at Special Olympics Connecticut, said Sunday after the event wrapped up.
Due to COVID-19, Connecticut’s 2020 Summer Special Olympics made the switch to virtual for the first time, but that didn’t stop the games from going on.
“I think it went well,” said Angie D’Amico of Cheshire, one of the participants. “It definitely brought everyone together.”
Despite taking place online, there was still a sense of connection among those involved.
“We all missed being together, but it felt like we were a community again,” said Horne.
Even though the event is over, it’s not the end of the road for Angie D’Amico or Choy Hin, a competitor from Southington.
Both stated their desire to continue working out and preparing for the next Special Olympics. D’Amico is 40, Hin 38.
“I’m definitely going to continue exercising,” said D’Amico.
This weekend, D’Amico competed in soccer. She scored five goals in the run, kick, score event and completed the dribbling contest in 33.42 seconds.
Hin, who continues to work out with his partner, William Kurtz, is grateful for his support. He also applauded his trainer Alicia, his Tri-Town teammates and those who organized this weekend event.
“Obviously, I’d prefer a live Olympics, but it was an honor to be in the Special Olympics,” said Hin.
Hin completed the 100-meter cycling event in 19.2 seconds.
“I think they were excited to have an opportunity to connect with their peers and play their sports and understood that we needed to be in different places,” said Horne.
Horne said Special Olympics Connecticut is looking ahead to the Unified Sports Fall Festival and making plans to adapt and ensure the health and safety of all participants.
“We’ll look to Special Olympics International and our state leaders to figure out what’s appropriate and what our next step should be,” said Horne. “It could be mixing virtual with in-person or limiting the size of events. I don’t know for sure at this point.”