Special Teammates Continue 20 Year Run

Special Olympians Help Each Other Reach Individual Goals

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“They’re both individually hard workers, but together they push each other,” Krista Almquist, Coach and Volunteer for Special Olympics said.

Two men help each other accomplish goals in their world of flips and turns.

“When I was 8 years old, I had skinny legs and skinny arms, I couldn’t hold myself up,” Sean Kunch, Special Olympian said.

Both starting at a young age and going until they can’t anymore.

Sean Klund, another Special Olympian believes as your body keeps getting older and older each year and if you can still do it at a decent pace and level then might as well keep doing it.

After over 20 years of training together, they have learned what pumps the other one up.

“He see’s me and I see him and there are things that he does that I can’t do, and there’s things that he isn’t doing that I can do, so that’s a good thing,” Klund said.

Special Olympics has given these two men the opportunity to showcase their talents.

“It’s just such a joy to watch them challenge others around them, challenge themselves and be there every day wanting to work out.,” Linda Hines, Special Olympics Gymnastics Coordinator said.

“It builds confidence, they set goals they achieve goals, seeing the pride that happens when they achieve their goals is amazing,” Almquist said.

Almquist coaches the two Seans and makes sure laughter is a part of the practice.

“We joke around a lot, I am not a very serious person, so that helps because they are silly guys so joking with them kind of keeps them going. They’re fun, they’re carefree so it just makes my job as a coach really easy”.

Sometimes it takes a little more motivation than other days.

“Sometimes I come here on Sunday’s and I take a nap, and get myself to get moving, because I love to do this, it keeps me active,” Kunch said.

For Sean Klund, Special Olympics was a place for him to come out of his shell.

“Special Olympics has been a part of my life ever since I was a little kid. I was a person that would just hide in a corner and be afraid of everything and they got me to open up and trust people,” he said.

And for the other Sean, it was a way to keep him focused.

“At one point, little Sean was all over the gym, he wasn’t focused, you could hardly get him to concentrate on an event, and now he is a leader in the gym,” Hines said.

One thing about Special gymnastics is for certain, Hines says these boys have the drive and ambition to succeed.

“There’s moments where they accomplish something, maybe not big, but something little, something they’ve been working on and it’s not just joyful, it’s tearful as well”.

And this team of two gymnasts will continue to give each other the pep talks they need to succeed.

Kunch gives a big ‘thank you’ to Klund for his hard work in helping him achieve his goals.

“Klund is always there to pat him on the back and tell him it was a good job done,” Hines said.

Klund is thankful for the opportunity to be able to help others and hopes more people will consider doing the same.

“If you take your time and help out people, then that’s a good thing to do. Whether it’s with Special Olympics or something else, it’s always good to help out other people,” he said.

And help each other they will until the end.

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