Fresh off their invitation to the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games, members of Special Olympics Florida triathlon team tackled the sprint triathlon at the Challenge Daytona triathlon festival on December 6.
Eight athletes and eight Unified partners took on the ½-mile swim, 12.4-mile bike ride, and 3.1 mile run in chilly 50-degree weather. Challenge Daytona, which includes a middle-distance race and several other events, takes place at the Daytona International Speedway.
Organizers and the triathlon community happily embraced our team and the Special Olympics spirit of inclusion. Our team was given a prime location in the transition area and was the first to receive their awards. Team members were greeted by cheers and a crowd of photographers.
Special Olympics Florida launched a triathlon program in 2018 to give interested athletes an opportunity to test themselves. With the help of local triathletes, it has quickly grown to include 20 members –- 10 athletes and 10 Unified partners. In November, members learned they had all been invited to compete in the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games.