USC PT volunteers help Special Olympics athletes have fun with fitness

USCVolunteers-SO-Worldgames
BY YASMINE PEZESHKPOUR

Nearly 1,900 athletes were screened by volunteers from the USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy earlier this month at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games.

Fun Fitness, the main physical therapy site at the Healthy Athletes pavilion on USC’s McCarthy Quad held screening stations for athletes to test their flexibility, strength, balance and aerobic fitness.

Sixty division volunteers including USC faculty, students and alumni provided guidance and evaluations for athletes at the screening stations.

Click to see FunFitness photos

Physical therapy volunteers also provided referrals to doctors in the athletes’ home countries as well as exercises the athletes could practice at home to enhance their training and performance.

“It was extremely rewarding to educate athletes from around the world about the health benefits of exercise and its importance in improving athletic performance and injury prevention,” said Ginelle Amormino DPT ’13, faculty volunteer and assistant professor of clinical physical therapy at the division.

“It was equally rewarding to share in the athletes’ joy, enthusiasm, and sense of achievement as they proudly presented their ribbons and medals to us during their visit to the pavilion.”

The Health Athletes pavilion saw more than 5,000 athletes during the Games.

The Special Olympics World Games took place from July 25 through Aug. 2. Nearly 7,000 athletes from 177 countries attended the events, which took place at both USC and UCLA.