USA Games Spotlight: Heidi Sand

SEATTLE, Wash. — Heidi Sand has the fortune of not only competing in her second Special Olympics USA Games, but her role model is right there by her side the entire time.

Heidi, who also went to the 2014 USA Games in New Jersey, is being coached at these Games by her mother, Jacque Martin.

“If I have a problem or if I feel sad, she knows what’s wrong with me,” Heidi said.

The two are also big advocates of the Healthy Athletes program that Special Olympics stresses to its athletes.

At the 2018 USA Games, athletes have the opportunity to receive free health screenings and education in seven disciplines: podiatry, vision, dentistry, physical therapy/fitness, nutrition and healthy habits, audiology, and emotional well-being. The more screenings they complete, the more goodies they can receive at each station.

During training camp, Heidi led the delegation through exercises. Several athletes also are keeping up with the 2018 USA Games 1 million step fitness challenge, as they track the steps they take on Movband fitness trackers and other various brands.

As a coach, Jacque has seen firsthand the benefit of Healthy Athletes. Clinicians have sometimes detected issues the athletes and their families were not previously aware of, and the timing can make the biggest of differences in being treated properly.

Athletes can receive their free health screenings at the Games in the University of Washington Husky Union Building. The schedule is:

  • July 3: 2-8 p.m.
  • July 4-6: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

On the court, Heidi and the rest of the tennis players will continue singles action in the seeding round on Tuesday. They also will begin doubles competitions, and Heidi and mixed doubles partner Michael Roth are scheduled to play a pair of matches.

To start the day, the SOSC duo will play Kristen Rausch and Matthew Mantor of Special Olympics Texas at 11 a.m. on Court 6. Brittany Tagliareni and Ryan Smith of Special Olympics Florida will be their opponents at 2 p.m. on Court 2. Schedules are subject to change.

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