Team North Carolina - 2018 USA Games July 4, 2018

Team NC tennis focus on health

Steps and screenings lead to improved health

“I tried something for the first time-tofu! And I liked it!”

Natalie Robins was a bit surprised how much she liked tofu, but Team NC tennis has been full of surprises this week.

After spending the last six months focused on training and preparing for competition at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games, the three tennis players aren’t letting their newly-learned healthy habits slip.

“None of them have had any sodas this week. No sweets either. We’re eating eggs and fruit for breakfast and salads for lunch,” shared Keron Poteat, Team NC tennis coach.

In addition to eating well and getting in plenty of steps each day, the team is also taking advantage of the Healthy Athletes screenings offered each day.

Robins was especially interested in the Healthy Hearing screening after noticing that she was having trouble hearing.

“I had a suspicion that my hearing wasn’t great. They told me that it was time to have my hearing aid checked. I am definitely going to see the doctor when I get home,” she explained.

Between screenings and personal discipline, Team NC tennis is staying healthy in Seattle. But they also recognize that moderation is key.

“I told them that if they kept it up all well, we’d go for any treat they wanted after competition ends on Friday. I think that’s keeping them motivated!” said Poteat.

Youth leaders learn the importance of networking

Sydie and Olivia shadow Hasbro volunteers

Sydie Garrett and Olivia Rudolph are inclusive youth leaders from Wake Forest High School. They are in Seattle for the Youth Leadership Experience, where they’re learning new skills and idea to take back to North Carolina.

"Shadowing Karen and Kevin (with Hasbro) was a lot of fun! We talked about our efforts at Wake Forest High School and they shared what they’re doing at USA Games. We kind of had this idea in my head that sponsors were just behind the scenes, but it’s really a lot more than that. They get into the games and help out, meeting everyone.

The whole experience was far more interactive than we thought!

We learned quite a bit about networking and how to share ideas with other people, even if they’re from a different state or in a different club. Idea sharing is so important because you never know when someone may have a great idea that will help you and your club. You also never know when you can help someone else!"

Unified flag football finds groove

Team wins both games on July 3

After the first day of competition, Team NC flag football knew there was more work to do.

“We’re coming up against some taller teams so we just needed to adjust our defense and offense,” said Cori Dixon, Team NC flag football coach.

Those adjustments paid off as Team NC rolled over their day two opponents, beating both North Dakota and Alabama. Teamwork and a revised game plan set them up for success.

Even before checking the scoreboard, they knew they’d succeeded just by looking at the smile on Coach Dixon’s face.

Check out these photos from day 3!

See the highlights from July 3:

Stay up to date with the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games by tuning into ESPN!

Cheer on Team NC by donating online today here!

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