This month, Special Olympics Ontario is excited to highlight Barrie athlete Stephen Graham for his incredible effort in the RYC Cycle Challenge. Stephen has been involved with Special Olympics Ontario for over 25 years. His hard work is evident through his success in Speedskating, Athletics Swimming, Baseball and Curling where he has won multiple medals at many World and National Games. In addition to his sporting accomplishments, Stephen represented Special Olympics Canada as a member of the Final Leg Torch Run Team for the 2019 World Games in Abu Dhabi. He was also the first Special Olympics Athlete to serve on the LETR Operations Committee.
Stephen first heard about the RYC Cycle Challenge through his speedskating coach who encouraged him to sign up. Over the course of the 8-week event, Stephen cycled over 2000km! Stephen is no stranger to the bike, he actually started cycling in 2015 and has been working hard ever since to grow stronger. His favourite ride over the course of the event was near the end of the challenge where he rode 114km in 3 hours and 30 minutes! His rides allowed him to explore the Central Ontario District where he lives, and try out various routes and terrain. Stephen noted that the most challenging part of the event was learning to adapt his hydration and nutrition to stay fueled on longer rides, and give him the energy he needed to push through.
Now that the RYC Cycle Challenge has come to a close, Stephen is ready to switch gears and start preparing for the 2022 Guardians Run which is coming to Orillia in October. Stephen is the first athlete to be drafted for the run this year by OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique. Stephen has participated in the Guardian Run for almost a decade, and is ecstatic that the event is coming back this year. Stephen is ready to take on the new challenge to prepare mentally and physically for the event. He is always looking for new ways to grow as an athlete to help him beat his personal records and stay as healthy as possible.
Congratulations Stephen, we can’t wait to see you in October at the Guardians Run!