Lov­ing it

Dr. Joanne Reid, from Stan­ley Bridge, en­joy­ing her ex­pe­ri­ence at World Games

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS -

It’s an ex­pe­ri­ence Joanne Reid will never for­get.

And although she may not have had an op­por­tu­nity to watch many events, her in­ter­ac­tion with the ath­letes pro­vided last­ing mem­o­ries.

“It is amaz­ing,” said Reid. “Oh my God, I love it.

“There is so much energy and ex­cite­ment. The ath­letes are so pas­sion­ate about what they are do­ing.”

That’s how Reid de­scribed her time as a clin­i­cal di­rec­tor at the 2015 Spe­cial Olympics World Games. She ar­rived in Los An­ge­les on Wed­nes­day night, and was sched­uled to fly home Sun­day.

“I re­ally lucked out get­ting the op­por­tu­nity,” said Reid, who is from Stan­ley Bridge and a grad­u­ate of Kens­ing­ton In­ter­me­di­ate-Se­nior High School. “Spe­cial Olympics P.E.I. set me up with it.”

In her role with the Spe­cial Olympics MedFest Healthy Ath­letes’ in­ter­na­tional pro­gram, Reid was part of a team of physi­cians per­form­ing phys­i­cal ex­ams and giv­ing ath­letes med­i­cal clear­ance to par­tic­i­pate. The pro­gram also in­cluded den­tists, op­tometrists, neu­rol­o­gists and os­teopa­thy doc­tors.

“We are sched­uled for shifts of about four hours at a time,” said the soon-to-be 29-year-old daugh­ter of Wil­bert and Brenda Reid in a phone in­ter­view with TC Media re­cently. “It’s an amaz­ing op­por­tu­nity to meet pro­fes­sion­als in­ter­na­tion­ally that are brought to­gether with the same goal in mind with such dif­fer­ent back­grounds and ex­pe­ri­ences.

“Dur­ing med­i­cal school you do not get much train­ing with any in­di­vid­u­als with in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­i­ties. I am re­ally new to it, but it’s a great way to learn.”

First ex­pe­ri­ence

Reid’s “first real in­volve­ment with Spe­cial Olympics” was a bowl­ing event on P.E.I. in late May.

The World Games’ op­por­tu­nity arose from that ex­pe­ri­ence, and the team of physi­cians screened 700 ath­letes from around the world at the Univer­sity of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia (USC) be­fore the start of com­pe­ti­tion.

“There were 40 ath­letes at that one (P.E.I. event), and down here there are 6,500,” added Reid, who grad­u­ated from med­i­cal school in May 2014 and now works in Char­lot­te­town.

Reid ad­mit­ted she had con­cerns about pos­si­ble lan­guage bar­ri­ers, but those were quickly put to rest.

“They have trans­la­tors, which is very help­ful,” said Reid. “Each team also has a med­i­cal per­son, so if you do find any­thing and need a re­fer­ral or fol­low-up when they go home, you can en­sure that hap­pens.”

Ge­og­ra­phy lessons

Reid was not only ex­am­in­ing ath­letes, but was also pro­vid­ing ge­og­ra­phy lessons.

“When I men­tion P.E.I., they kind of look at you like, ‘Where is that?,’” she re­called.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Dr. Joanne Reid, right, and physi­cian as­sis­tant stu­dent Amy lift 12-year-old swim­mer Ana from Ro­ma­nia. Reid added Ana was “so ex­cited” to be at the 2015 Spe­cial Olympics World Games and noted this photo “sums up the awe­some­ness of my ex­pe­ri­ence.” Ana, 12, is the youngest ath­lete swim­mer at the World Games.

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