BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — The Special Olympics summer games were canceled, but that doesn't mean the competition has to stop.
"They need competition," President and CEO of Special Olympics New York Stacey Hengsterman said. "They're athletes so they want to compete."
Which is why the organization launched its first ever "Sports Season at Home". It gives athletes a chance to go up against others and have fun doing it.
"They've got their competitive juices flowing, they're already working on what they wanna compete in, working on getting better," Hengsterman said. "So it's just a big boost for the whole Special Olympics community."
An athlete will pick four of a possible 12 events to compete in. They include:
1.) modified or standard push-up
2.) standing broad jump
3.) step or push race
4.) V sit-up
5.) step shuttle run
6.) vertical leap
7.) ball dribble
8.) high knee step
9.) line jump side to side
10.) line jump front to back
11.) stair step
Each athlete will perform their chosen skills to the best of their ability, in front of their coach virtually, and submit their top scores. In mid-June, they'll be pooled using their scores based on age and ability. They'll then re-perform and re-submit their top scores for the final time. At the end of the month, they'll be recognized in a virtual celebration.
Christine Stevenson of Youngstown is an area coach for 12 athletes including her son Justin. She says having a program like this during the summer is huge.
"I would receive messages from my athletes asking when are we starting, when are we getting together," she said. "Now that they can do this every Tuesday, it gives them something to look forward to."
Athletes have until mid-June to sign up and compete. You can more information here.