In early June, over 4,000 athletes competed in the Special Olympics USA Games in Orlando. The state of Florida was represented by 600 athletes, including Specially Fit Foundation locals Omaries Rivera-Perez and Kyle Wilson. The pair of Riverview residents qualified for the track and field competition.
Rivera-Perez competed in the 400-meter run, 4 x 100-meter relay and shot put. She received second place in the 400-meter run and ran her personal best the day of the competition. Wilson participated in the 100-meter run, 200-meter run and 4 x 400-meter relay and finished in second place in his 100-meter preliminary races as well.
“This competition occurs every four years, and for both athletes to come from the same team is an incredible accomplishment,” said Specially Fit Foundation owner and head coach Mark Oliver. “These are not just amazing athletes but also amazing individuals who worked extremely hard for this moment.”
The USA Games had a packed stadium with thousands of people in attendance cheering on the athletes. Wilson, who was the youngest on his team, was voted team captain by his coaches for his sportsmanship and character. He is also getting ready to enter high school and will try out for the track team. The Specially Fit athletes train at the BayCare HealthHub on Bloomingdale Avenue, working with trainers to hone their skills.
“The feeling of competing in front of that many people was amazing, and I loved every second of it,” said Rivera-Perez.
According to Oliver, the Specially Fit Foundation provides group workouts, Special Olympic training, socialization opportunities, animal therapy, group homes and teaches daily life skills to individuals with developmental disabilities, all free of cost.
For more information, visit the website at www.speciallyfitfoundation.com.