May 12

Karen’s week with Paralympic coach and athletes in Colorado

I had a wonderful week in Colorado Springs at the United States Olympic Training Center shadowing our National Paralympic coach, Dave Denniston. I got to know the 16 paralympic athletes who live and train at the center in hopes of making the national team and representing our country at the Paralympics in London.

I learned so much from Dave about coaching. He is the most creative coach I have ever seen, and has a very talented group of swimmers – some have one arm, some one leg, some neither, some cerebral palsy, some spinal cord injuries, and some are blind. I was speechless at their abilities in the water.

I also got to spend quite a few hours in the gym with Amanda Wittenmyer – Strength and Conditioning Coordinator for the USOC. I watched the team during their gym routines and was amazed at their abilities to perform exercises despite their physical challenges. I learned how to adapt exercises in the weight room for all types of different body requirements.

I came home very excited to inject all of the things I learned on this trip into my coaching here at home.

Here is a picture of the team with their coach, Dave Denniston.

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