Shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic began, a social media movement emerged on Facebook among a group of Torch Runners interested in promoting an active and healthy lifestyle worldwide among the Guardians of the Flame and Special Olympics athletes.
Initiated by Torch Runner Mike McAllister from Ontario, Canada, the posted videos by various Guardians of the Flame and Special Olympics athletes have served to promote fitness and health during a time when it is most needed. Many of the Guardians post a daily video where they do ten repetitions of an exercise and share positive perspectives for the day. It’s Guardians of the Flame stepping up to keep us all unified and motivated!
When asked about the purpose of the daily postings, Torch Runner McAllister explained the reasoning behind his idea:
“All of a sudden it hit me, there will be no practices, no games, and no competitions. Everyone was going to be separated from coaches and friends for an unforeseen length of time, and they still are.” Click here to read more.
2019 Abu Dhabi Final Leg Torch Runner Needs Prayers and Support!
Please consider a donation to assist Officer Mark Priebe and his family during this difficult time.
Mark, a kind, compassionate, and caring police officer who has dedicated his life to serving others, was senselessly run down in front of his police station on June 9, 2020, by a crazed individual. He was dragged and pinned between the suspect's vehicle and a concrete pillar. At this time, it is known that Mark has suffered extensive injuries, and it is unknown if he will ever walk again.
Mark's wife Heather was diagnosed with cancer in 2019 and has been undergoing chemotherapy and other treatments, including a planned surgery in July. These treatments have left her immune system compromised, making it difficult for her to work during the COVID-19 crisis.
Mark is a pillar of the community and one of the most dedicated police officers you will ever meet. He participates and helps organize various Special Olympics events, including traveling to Abu Dhabi in 2019 as a member of the Final Leg. He helped spread the message of acceptance and inclusion for all individuals around the world.
Please share this post and donate if you are able. Please click on Mark's photo to go to the GoFundMe page to donate! THANK YOU for your consideration of donating!
*Reprinted with permission of Final Leg Team Captain John Newnan
Chris Nikic Training to be the First Athlete with Down Syndrome to Complete Ironman
This is an excerpt from the USA Today article titled “Special Olympian Chris Nikic trains to be first person with Down syndrome to complete Ironman.”
“In Chris' world, he's already dealt with plenty of adversity. He had open-heart surgery when he was 5 months old and needed a walker when he was 3. But Chris says it's being called "stupid" and feeling "less than" by adults and peers that have hurt the most.
‘Having Down syndrome means I have to work harder than everyone else,’ Nikic said. ‘I've learned to work harder in (life), and that's helped me be ready for Ironman.’
Nikic, a Maitland, Florida resident, had been training four hours a day for six days a week to get ready for his first Half Ironman competition in Panama City Beach in May, which was postponed. He is now preparing for the full Ironman in November in Panama City Beach. But the coronavirus pandemic has postponed or canceled competitions, and Nikic's workout regimen has been more challenging with swims at the lake instead of the pool and most workouts outside the closed local gym.” Click here to read the full article.
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