Special Olympics Pennsylvania #50for50: Colt List

#50for50: Volume 27
▪️ Colt List
▪️ 38 years old
▪️ Lawrence County

“I was born in Las Vegas. I was really little when I was there, so I’ve pretty much been in Pennsylvania for 97 percent of my life. I was sick when I was a baby. I had cancer. We had to move, I think, for that reason. But basically I had a Wilms’ tumor on one of my kidneys. I’m completely healthy now, but they had to take out the entire kidney. … I’ve been in Special Olympics since 2005. I think I heard about it through word of mouth. My stepmom knew somebody in the program. I started bowling, that was my first sport, and then I went on from there. Bocce was next, then I started volleyball and most recently I did swimming. It was kind of hard at first because I was living with my parents in Bessemer. I was always depending on them to take me where I wanted to go. But once I moved to New Castle, then I was able to do more. I’ve been where I’m living at for almost four years. It’s more like a group home setting, but it’s independent living. I learned how to pretty much live on my own. Like cooking and doing laundry and stuff like that I learned how to do without any help. I picked it up pretty quick. Cooking before, I maybe zapped some stuff in the microwave, but here I’m cooking for four or five other people. I like doing the pastas and I do a lot of chicken dishes and stuff like that. I like to just try different things. … I work at a movie theater in New Castle. I also work on a janitorial crew with Lark Enterprises in New Castle and we go to different places and clean apartment buildings and stuff like that. I’m also a donation attendant at Goodwill. Goodwill is pretty much my main one, but I’m not working there right now. Hopefully we’re going to be going to the green phase soon, so they’ll be asking more people to come back to work. I’ve been helping out at my church, too, passing out food one or two days a week. People come in their cars and we give them a few dinners and drinks and whatever we have. I’ve just been trying to help out with whatever I can. … I’ve been to Penn State a few times, I’ve been to Villanova a few times but I also got asked to be an Athlete Leader and an Athlete Representative on our county’s management team. Once I started going to the classes, I definitely wanted to do it more, get more involved. I was never a good speaker before — I was always nervous and stuff like that — but since I started with this program, I’ve spoken at a summit in Pittsburgh, at Slippery Rock, at Penn State and at Villanova. … Going to Washington, D.C. for Capitol Hill Day is probably my favorite thing I’ve done so far. I spoke to a bunch of representatives and a senator, so that was cool. I got to go in their offices and speak to them or their aide. We were talking about continuing funding for health care for the athletes and Unified Champion Schools. I had a little speech planned and I pretty much said the same thing for every one one of them. But we also basically just sat in chairs and talked. It was a conversation. It was definitely something I will remember for a long time and hopefully get to do again some day. For being the only one representing Pennsylvania that day, I was very proud.”

Special Olympics Pennsylvania #50for50: Tony Carney

#50for50: Volume 26
▪️ Tony Carney
▪️ 63 years old
▪️ Chester County

“I lived across the street from Elwyn Institute where I used their facilities to work out, sometimes without their knowledge. After a while I started getting kicked out by security. I played basketball in high school and college [at the University of the Sciences] and I had a chance to play professionally overseas in Ireland. When I came home I was really lost. I was really emotionally lost when I wasn’t playing anymore. I went over and talked to the Athletics Director at Elwyn and asked if I could do something as a volunteer. And that’s when they got me an employee credential, so I wasn’t getting kicked out by security anymore. I did bowling with the adults from the Institute and had a wonderful time. I started doing classroom stuff from 1982-85, but when I changed jobs to the pharmaceutical industry, a lot of that went by the wayside because that was a 24/7, 365 job. … We started our team from scratch in 2003. Patrick, my first-born son, was getting to be old enough that he was involved. When he was 2 or 3 we started getting these diagnoses. They put him in developmental medicine at AI duPont and the reports coming back weren’t real good. They were saying he’s not going to accomplish very much. He’s 30 now. So once he was old enough to participate, Patrick’s mom said to me, ‘If I do the paperwork, will you coach the team?’ And I said, ‘If you do the paperwork, I’ll do anything.’ … That first year, we went to the Downingtown Tournament and got clobbered. We lost every game. Then in 2004 I said, ‘I just want to win one game.’ We ended up going undefeated in our region and went to Penn State and won gold in our division. … We’ve had two college graduates, we have an Eagle Scout. Our players have done remarkable things. I still have two of my original players, but we’ve had the better part of 100 kids come through. It’s not like a high school or college team. They don’t have to graduate if they don’t want to. Our core players, most of them have been around for a decade or more. They’ve taught me more than I’ve taught them. I never wanted to be a basketball coach before I got to coach them. … We practice on Sunday mornings. It’s not uncommon to have them back here in my basement, playing video games, howling and laughing and joking with each other. You can’t make people do that, they either do it naturally or they don’t. It was very difficult for me to tell them it was all cancelled this year. I’ll see them in the supermarket, they’re talking about Penn State. That’s their goal. They think about it all the time. I’ve come out of games after losses and they’re in the hallway in tears and I think, ‘God, I’ve created a monster.’ They’re very resilient. … We don’t keep stats. The only stat I know is that 13 of 14 years we’ve been to states. We’ve medaled every time we’ve gone. To see the looks in their eyes when they have that feeling of accomplishment, when they’ve won tournaments — I said, ‘Never forget this feeling. This will help you your whole life. You know that you can do it.’ … The last 18 months, I’ve had a bout with cancer. People ask me, ‘What should we tell the players?’ I said, ‘I’ll tell them.’ That and the season being cut off at the knees this year has made me reflect on a lot of the time I’ve had with the group. It’s been a blessing to me. I hope I’ve been able to help them along. It warms my heart. When I look back on all the things I’ve done in basketball, this might be the best thing I’ve ever done or ever been associated with.”

Commit to Fit, Volume 44

On the cusp of this Memorial Day Weekend, we’re excited to bring you today’s 44th workout in Special Olympics Pennsylvania’s 𝗖𝗢𝗠𝗠𝗜𝗧 𝗧𝗢 𝗙𝗜𝗧 video series! 💪🍎☺️

Today’s session was sent to us by Washington County athlete Derek Cernecky and his sister Denise Green! You can tell what an awesome time Derek and Denise have doing this workout as they’ll lead the way for some lunges and high knees!

And remember — check back every weekday at 10:30 a.m. EST for a new workout video. If you missed any of the previous workouts, you can find them here.

Commit to Fit, Volume 43

It might just be because we’re so excited for the 2020 Virtual Summer Games to get here, but these days are flying by!! And with that, we’ve got today’s 43rd workout in Special Olympics Pennsylvania’s 𝗖𝗢𝗠𝗠𝗜𝗧 𝗧𝗢 𝗙𝗜𝗧 video series! 💪🍎☺️

For this session, we’re led by Trevor Ciampoli, an athlete from Montgomery County! Trevor is going to get us up to speed with an incredible boxing workout. And he also put some pretty sweet video editing skills on display!

And remember — check back every weekday at 10:30 a.m. EST for a new workout video. If you missed any of the previous workouts, you can find them here.