Hey there: This past spring I was contacted regarding training a few Special Olympics athletes. Richard, Glen and Andrew compete in track in field and were looking for some help in getting ready for the Nationals in July. So I agreed to do my best to help these guys out. What a great experience it was.
At the very first meeting we sat down and discussed their goals, training history, previous injuries, rest habits and anything else relevant to realizing success in track and field. And I was really impressed how much focus these guys had. They were dedicated to their training. They avoided empty calories and made sure to get at least hours of sleep a night. If I remember correctly Andrew told me he really likes having stir-frys for dinner. Unless there’s pizza!
And so we got started. I didn’t realize their level of dedication until one day Richard was quoting one of my more recent emails that you all receive. It didn’t make sense how accurate he was it being able to recall the content until I realized he was printing them all off and collecting them in a binder. He would bring the binder to our training sessions and then share them with others.
Lastly I’ll remember Glen for going for runs into between our training sessions. Even if his training partners were busy he’d still be out there putting in his mileage then come inside the gym for a workout. Although I seem to recall him teasing me about how poorly Italy did in the World Cup.
Recently one of these guys received a very admirable acknowledgement. Richard was named Special Olympics Canada’s male athlete of the year. While Richard will be receiving the award all there of these guys are deserving. And knowing Andrew and Glen they are proudly just as proud of their buddy for winning as if they had themselves.
Below is a recent article describing Richard’s award. Congratulations.
Kelowna’s Richard Gillis has been named Special Olympics Canada’s male athlete of the year for 2010.
Gillis will fly to Toronto in November for the official presentation ceremony.
The national award comes on the heels of another honour for the local athlete.
Gillis was also recently named the recipient of Special Olympics B.C.’s Athletic Achievement award. It is presented annually to the athlete in B.C. who has demonstrated outstanding athletic skills and is a role model for other Special Olympics athletes.
Gillis has been a Special Olympian for 18 years, consistently competing at a high performance level.
He has been a member of Special Olympics teams on several occasions and has competed at both the summer and winter national games.
Gillis most recently won a silver medal in pentathlon at the 2010 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games.
There are currently 3,500 athletes participating in Special Olympics B.C