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Testamand siblings shine at Music City Fit Expo

Ashley and Jonathan Testamand participated in Fitness Games

Amid the buzz of excitement of CrossFit and Strongman competitions, powerlifting events and the intense Fitness Games hosted by Special Olympics Tennessee (SOTN), siblings Ashley and Jonathan Testamand of Mt. Juliet were all smiles at Nashville’s Music City Fit Expo. Garnering attention from scores of fitness enthusiasts, the Fitness Games, which tested athletes’ speed, power, strength and agility, invited participants from SOTN’s Train 4 Life™ program, which aims to bridge health disparities and promote athletes’ overall fitness and well-being.

The fun, back-and-forth bantering between sister Ashley, who competes in Unified volleyball, and brother Jonathan, who plays flag football, basketball and volleyball, exemplified the impact of Special Olympics’ mission to provide year-round opportunities for athletes to experience the thrill and joy of competition and sportsmanship. Among the dozens of athletes who competed that day, the siblings’ hard work and team spirit inspired competitors and spectators alike, which they attributed to the unwavering support of their team that they compared to a family.

When asked about the most meaningful part of her participation in Special Olympics, Ashley replied, without a second thought, “Having a great family and somebody that I can fall back on, having support and lovingness and caringness.”

Throughout the physical rigor of the day’s events, the athletes took every challenge in stride and pushed their limits, exerting themselves to the fullest while never missing a chance to pull each other up.

“Special Olympics has made me strong. Very strong,” Jonathan said, with pride in his voice.

Before the event ended, Ashley and Jonathan went up together to receive their medals. They were cheered on by their teammates, who all exhibited not only physical vigor that day but also strength of character as they showered each other with hugs, high-fives, and unrelenting enthusiasm. Perspiration glistened on their foreheads, but exhilaration shined through nonetheless.

“I've never had such an incredible family, and some of the opportunities that Special Olympics has given me over the years,” Ashley shared. She added, “It’s changed my life for the better.”