They may not be able to compete, but Langley’s Special Olympians have still been keeping busy with a range of online challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic that has kept them from competing.
Which is why Randy Curr, Langley Special Olympics basketball coach and communications volunteer, ended up posting a photo of himself wearing an Easter Bunny costume to the Langley Special Olympics Official Group Facebook page.
It was a coaches’ challenge, the latest in a series of online events that have seen Special Olympians post pictures and videos of themselves performing various activity challenges.
“It’s a way of keeping them [the athletes] connected,” Curr explained.
“Just encouraging people to be active.”
Other coaches donned costumes ranging from superheroes to fictional detectives, and cartoon characters, with Olympians guessing who they were supposed to be.
Most had no trouble identifying Curr as the famous bunny.
“It’s pretty clear,” he laughed.
Activity challenges have included cooking, housework and walking, among other things.
“We had another challenge, where we had people show their messages for first responders,” Curr elaborated.
Photos from that challenge showed participants displaying paper hearts and hand-decorated stones with encouraging messages.
When the athletes might be able to resume training and competing together was still up in the air, as of Sunday, May 24th.
An update from Special Olympics BC (SOBC) said before a specific sport or activity can reopen, provincial health guidelines for sports will need to be released and there needs to be a plan specific to a Special Olympics BC sport or activity.
SOBC directors then need to approve a sport- or activity-specific plan and “provide education for coaches, Locals, and athletes on all the steps required to safely run that specific activity.”
Plans are to reopen just a few sports at a time, the update said.
“Because some sports have less physical closeness and contact than others, those sports may be able to start again sooner than others. But we don’t yet have any dates to confirm.”
No walkathon, torch run goes virtual
This year, the annual walkathon fundraiser for Langley Special Olympics, usually held around this time of year, has been called off because of coronavirus restrictions on large crowds, and the 30th annual Law Enforcement Torch Run that raises funds for Special Olympics will be a virtual event.
Between Monday, June 1st, and Sunday, June 7th, participants will run and walk as many times as you can and log their mileage online.
Aldergrove special Olympian Christopher Lakusta will be running to raise funds for local programs.
He was about a third of the way to his goal of $1,000 as of Sunday.
Donations can be made online at the Special Olympics British Columbia website under “Christopher Lakusta.”