COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Niles Dowe has not lifted weights in additional than yr. However Thursday night, on a subject exterior Centennial Excessive College, Dowe was all of the sudden a strongman competitor.
“It’s all popping out as we speak.” Dowe says. “We wish to guarantee that we’re out of the home and never be so bored on a regular basis.”
Dowe was among the many opponents in one of many first Particular Olympics occasions staged in Ohio because the begin of the pandemic final yr. Athletes gathered for a strongman contest, that includes farmer’s carries and weight throws. The occasion signaled an finish to the isolation so many particular athletes endured final yr with out a lot contact with their friends and pals.
“Depressing” is how Particular Olympian Chris Barnett described it. He’s been competing within the video games for greater than 25 years.
“Oh, we’ve been speaking about this for 2 weeks… three weeks… 4 weeks.” Mentioned Julie Barnett, Chris’ mom.
“I’ve seen lots of people I haven’t seen in a very long time… Particular Olympics is our household. It’s meant the whole lot to us .” she stated.
About two dozen athletes competed, with teaching and oversight from volunteers from the Hilliard Police Division. Mother and father and relations gathered by the handfuls to maintain the return to competitors vigorous.
“Having so many individuals come out and assist the athletes is superb.” Mentioned Particular Olympics coach John Essen. “You possibly can see form of that glint is again in everyone’s eye the place they begin to really feel the whole lot’s regular.”
As necessary as bodily exercise stays for the athletes, coaches say social abilities and total psychological well being ought to considerably enhance as practices return to typical numbers.
“The most important factor we’ve realized about Particular Olympics now could be sure, we’re a sports activities program however the social a part of stuff is a lot extra necessary.” Essen says.
“I’m hoping I’ll keep in so long as I can, till I’m able to retire.” Dowe says.