Athlete Highlight – Sandy Williams
by Caitlin Buyserie
High Desert Local Program athlete, Sandy Williams, has been participating with Special Olympics Oregon since she was 10 years old (a little over 24 years). She participated in athletics, basketball, and bowling and has medaled in many of the events within those sports. When Covid-19 restrictions resulted in a pause on SOOR’s in-person activities, Sandy did not hesitate to try out the new sport that was being offered in the first ever 2020 Fall Virtual Games. She practiced and competed in fitness as sport and ended up taking first place in her division.
During that season, Sandy also learned about the new SOOR Active community through some of the athletes she was virtually practicing with. She became a member in November and has participated in virtual fitness classes almost daily since then. When asked about her favorite classes she said “I like them all, but especially Chair Yoga with Debbie and Fitness with Coach Vibes because their workouts are really fun. They help me stay active and get stronger.” She mentioned that meeting new people and making friends in each class is a bonus. Sandy used her skills from SOOR Active fitness classes to increase her strength and speed in fitness as sport for the next two seasons of virtual games (Winter 2021 & Summer 2021).
Sandy also participated in both SOOR Active Step Challenges using her Fitbit to track her mileage. In April’s Move Challenge, she logged 641 minutes of exercise and walked 11 miles. In January’s Walk ‘n Roll Challenge, she walked 28 miles. When she found out that there was going to be a Summer Step Challenge during the month of August, she set a goal of logging 35 miles in order to beat her personal best from the previous challenge.
When asked about her successes in these different challenge events, she said, “I had a lot of fun tracking my steps and am proud of myself for staying active.” Sandy was very glad that SOOR offered Virtual Games and SOOR Active but she’s excited to get back to in-person events. She understands that we’re going to start out slow with only outdoor, individual activities this fall. Sandy can’t wait to get back to the bowling center and onto the basketball courts with her friends, saying “we’ve almost made it through Covid, and I’ll see everyone really soon!”
We can’t wait to see you and your friends, Sandy!