Months of training pays off for disabled athletes competing in annual PigAbilities event

Months of training pays off for disabled athletes competing in annual PigAbilities event

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - It was a special day in the community for some athletes who are living with a disability.

PigAbilities is an empowering option for athletes of all ages or abilities and is an official event with the annual Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon.

Those who participated are a part of Goodwill’s Center for Advocacy Recreation and Education program.

Athletes learned about nutrition, started doing walks and hikes, learned about exercising in the months leading up to the fourth annual event.

All that training and learning helped them complete the mile run and walk through Glenwood Gardens on Tuesday.

“It was wonderful, even though we did it at the park it was a beautiful fall day, and they just really got into it, they stuck with it," CARE Program Supervisor Lois Kramer said. "A mile is a mile, so for our folks that was really an accomplishment and we’re just so proud of them.”

“It was so beautiful,” Kristine Agoston said.

Jon Hicks who participated in the event said he didn’t find the event all that challenging.

“No, no, no,” Hicks said.

When they got back, they got their awards.

“It’s important to these athletes as it is to the other 40,000 athletes in this city that are doing virtual flying pigs," Michael Flannery of Ohio Valley Goodwill said. "What’s really important is the recognition for them probably more than others. Because there’s a lot they can’t do or don’t get to do, and they get overlooked a lot.”

Flannery, whose daughter has Down syndrome, says he knows firsthand the importance of supporting those with disabilities.

“The fact that someone has disabilities whether or not they can participate or not, of course, they can they can do the same as anybody else,” Flannery said.

There are no more Flying Pig events coming up any time soon, but those in the CARE program say they do something every day, whether they’re volunteering at different organizations or out at different events, to make sure they are a part of the community.

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