The SOWI community spreads positivity, encouragement

April 2, 2020 Blog

As the SOWI community practices social distancing, it’s critically important that we all stay positive during this unprecedented pandemic. On that note, we asked some of our athletes and fans to tell us what is keeping them upbeat during this time or to provide words of encouragement for the SOWI community. Here are some of their submissions. They have been lightly edited for clarity.

“Life is filled with ups and downs, twists and turns. I look at that in the best way that I possibly can. I’ve been trying to motivate my fellow athletes by encouraging them to keep moving and to not let this challenge define them. But mostly I just try to be there for them if they need a shoulder to lean on. Special Olympics means so much to me and I cannot wait to enjoy the time being with my friends again.” – David Thompson, athlete, Oregon Area Special Olympics

“I can’t wait to get back on the field to compete in Special Olympics but this definitely gives people a chance to enjoy their loved ones and meditate and focus on themselves as an individual.” – Marquis Garner, athlete, Team Milwaukee

Artwork created by Oregon High School’s cross-country coach, Coach Vasey, to lift the spirits of SOWI athlete Atticus Ruhland and his mom, Natasha

“I stay positive and have fun staying active with what I can do right now. I have been riding on a stationary bike and lifting weights at home right now.” – Peter Chumas, athlete, Menomonie Red Cedar

“We will get through this together!” – Hal Bennett, parent of athlete Elliot Bennett, West Madison Area Special Olympics

“We are all in a competition to fight this awful virus. When we have an end to it, we all will be in first place.” – Steve Woodard, athlete, Silver Lake Special Olympics

“We will just keep being safe and happy and it will be okay.” – Gabby Kelley, athlete, Oregon Area Special Olympics

“Running keeps me in good shape and keeps my spirits up. We’ve been through hard times before and overcame the obstacles. We will make it through this. We have strength in numbers and in our hearts. Even though we can’t see each other in person, thankfully we’re still able to connect with each other through social media. Stay strong everyone.” – Jerry Halboth, athlete, Walworth County Adult Program

“We are all helping people everyday and helping ourselves as individuals and trying really hard to be there for each other during this time of social distancing. I hope we all continue to think about each other and stay in touch and reach out.” – Nealy Rothe, athlete, Team Milwaukee


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