Deputy’s ’10-A-Day’ lifts people with intellectual disabilities out of isolation

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SEATTLE -- A King County sheriff’s deputy has taken on a personal crusade to make sure those at the highest risk of isolation stay active and engaged.

Sheriff’s deputy Kristi Bridgman is helping Special Olympics athletes train in a time when they haven’t been able to compete.

Distancing and stay-at-home orders mean athletes like Zach McBryde can’t train like they need to.

The deputy made a pledge to herself to make house calls to athletes for athletes like McBryde. It's in an effort to lift people with intellectual disabilities out of isolation.

Now, she helps those athletes train 7 days a week, until the order is lifted. She calls it, "10 a day, until it's okay."

“It brings smiles to everyone,” Bridgman said. “And it helps athletes know there are people out there who care about them.”

McBryde made sure Bridgman knew, how much he appreciated the visit.

“It’s not every day that this gets to happen," McBryde said.  "But this is a special occasion!"

King County Deputy Kristi Bridgman gives a long-distance high-give to Special Olympics Athlete Zach McBryde

Recognizing other athletes were just as enthusiastic, Deputy Bridgman began recording the workouts and sharing them online. She's recorded more than 30 to date. The journey has also included dance lessons and birthday celebrations – anything that helps get the athletes moving and keeps them engaged.

Bridgman started volunteering with the Special Olympics Washington in 2016 by giving out medals to the athletes. She’s been all in ever since.

“It’s about inclusion," Bridgman said. "It’s about thinking about others and being gracious to everybody around you during this time.”

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