From The Blog

KICA’s Carl Ritchie Coaches SC Powerlifting Team at the Special Olympics

KICA’s Director of Security Carl Ritchie holds another esteemed title, one he claims proudly: South Carolina Special Olympics Powerlifiting Head Coach. This week, he escorted four South Carolina athletes to the Special Olympic Games in Orlando, Florida, where he coached Team SC to 16 powerlifting medals!

One of the many emotional achievements of the week was captured on video. Carl coaches two of the Special Olympic athletes locally through the Town of Mt. Pleasant’s Therapeutic Recreation program, Mark Vito and Kaitie Spears. The first athlete to compete in the games was Mark, and Carl reported he was nervous. Mark went on to sweep all four of his events on Monday, winning four gold medals, and was named National Champion for his weight class. This video shows Carl (red shirt) encouraging Mark off-stage before his event. Mark walks confidently to the stage and lifts a personal best of 220 lbs. Caution: the joyous celebration that follows may bring tears to your eyes.

The following day, Tyler Chambers, a seasoned competitor, achieved his personal best with a 385 lb squat. Tyler earned two gold medals and two silver. On Wednesday, the final two SC athletes competed. Kaitie Spears, Carl’s other Charleston-area athlete and the only SC female powerlifting athlete, achieved two silver medals and two bronze medals. Finally, Alan Stephens won another National Champion title for Team SC and is bringing home two gold and two silver medals.

Final Team South Carolina Medal Count: 16

7 Gold Medals

7 Silver Medals

2 Bronze Medals

Congratulations to Carl and his athletes Mark Vito, Kaitie Spears, Alan Stephens and Tyler Chambers!