Special Olympics NC encourages athletes with 30-day challenge during COVID-19 outbreak

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Annie Tane is a well-rounded Special Olympian competing for about 20 years in various sports and right now, she should be playing softball.

"I do miss my friends," Tane, 36, said. "For me, I always enjoy doing stuff in a group, and since we can't compete right now and practice this would be a good chance for us to still do the same stuff, but we can't do it together."

Special Olympics North Carolina Health Director Ellen Fahey knew Tane wasn't the only athlete feeling this way, so she wanted to do something about it.

"We've got some really competitive people in our organization," Fahey said. "It was just a natural; let's start April 1st, go for 30 days, make it this short challenge, get people engaged and involved and see how things evolve from there."

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The challenge starts Wednesday and goes through the end of the month. Special Olympics is encouraging anyone and everyone to participate. All you must do is drink five bottles of water and eat five fruits and five vegetables a day and exercise at least five times a week.

Want to find out more? Click here for challenge details.

"We posted this challenge yesterday," Fahey said. "I can't tell you how many people have been reposting, sharing, challenging their friends. Athletes have been getting super excited about it."

Tane is one of those accepting the challenge with enthusiasm. She posted the video on Facebook saying she was going to do it, asking her friends whether they would join her.
She got a lot of positivity and support from her fellow Special Olympians.

"It made me proud," she said. "I feel like Special Olympics is a huge family and you definitely see all of that support."

For Fahey, it's gratifying to see during these tough times.

"Now they're super excited to be engaging with their friends on social media and via videos, and they're really taking it in full force," Fahey said. "It's really cool to see them take to social media like that."

At the end of the month, anyone who completes the challenge will get a prize, but for Tane, this competition is about more than that.

"I want to do this more for me than I want to do it more than feeling like I've got to do this," she said.
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