Kevin M. literally picked up where left off before COVID shut down his Special Olympics powerlifting. In fact, he picked up all 400 pounds of where he left off.
Kevin and the entire Little City Special Olympics powerlifting team had their first taste of competition since the pandemic started in March of 2020, participating in a regional event this month. There were a lot of unknowns going into the competition including an entirely new coaching staff for the Little City team and a group of lifters who only had roughly 8 weeks to train after more than a year off, but it was the same consistent Kevin who once again completed a mammoth lift.
“He missed [powerlifting] a lot and you could tell he was so pumped when he got that 400-pound lift,” said Malorie Solus, who leads the Little City Special Olympics and recreation programs. “He is a hard worker and he likes to get at it so he came back as strong as ever.”
The entire powerlifting team, which has become one of the best in the state, performed better than Malorie could have hoped for after more than a year off and only two months of training in preparation. She said though she was nervous coaching in her first powerlifting event, along with a team of Little City’s own Reuben Rosczyk, Casey Carraher and Jesse McMullan, the lifters adapted incredibly well and quickly formed relationships with the new staff.
“Powerlifting is a little more demanding than the other sports and you have to really be listening and paying attention because people can get seriously hurt doing this,” Malorie said. “But the coaches were great and everyone hit their cues and lifted really well.”
Though this was the first powerlifting event in more than a year, Special Olympics has tried to keep some activities going throughout the pandemic. Malorie said qualifying for state competition and earning medals was put to a stop during the pandemic, but that will change in July when the golf team participates in the first competitive, qualifying event since 2019.
She said many of the athletes in all of the programs have returned and are competing in golf, softball and the always popular bowling just around the corner. With a return to a full Special Olympics schedule and qualifying events for the 2022 Summer Games coming up, Malorie said there is always a need for volunteers, especially in basketball, bowling and volleyball, all of which will start soon.
Those interested can reach out to Malorie at firstname.lastname@example.org.