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Team Angel Wolf’s Nick Watson successfully completed the Climb with Rio challenge in a bid to inspire people to stay at home, stay safe and stay fit during Covid-19, writes Mai Al Khatib-Camille.
The endurance challenge saw Nick walk 118 times up and down the stairs of his Dubai-based home, which was equivalent to climbing Burj Khalifa, with his 17-year-old son Rio, a Person of Determination, strapped on his back. He completed it in four hours and 43 minutes.
Nick, a former Royal Marine and fitness expert, said: “This has been completely different to what we have ever experienced before in a race or a challenge. Even though we, and hundreds of others, did the challenge separately, there was a real sense of togetherness and not being alone; which feels unique at the moment. I have to admit there was discomfort yet however uncomfortable it got, Rio totally motivated and fuelled me. His excitement, enthusiasm and appreciation of each given moment gave me energy to keep going.”
As part of the initiative, Nick and Rio encouraged people from all over the world to get involved and take on their own climb-a-thon, by choosing an iconic landmark, without having to leave their homes.
Othmann El-Attar, son of Christine Gordon, founder of RIA Institute, followed suit by climbing the 50 steps in the building where he lives 21.5 times, equivalent to the 1,077 steps in one of Bahrain’s Harbour Towers.
Othmann trained at home every day. The exercise helped him stay mentally and physically fit. He and his support team, including his mum as well as Sarah Clarke, founder of Baloo’s Buddies and Stan Szecowka, editor of GDNOnline had a great time being part of the #climbwithrio.
Thousands of people also joined the challenge via social media. Schools challenged their children and entire families walked together up and down the stairs of their homes to virtually complete the Burj Khalifa climb.
Team Angel Wolf, which is made up of Nick, his wife Delphine and children Rio and Tia, has always had a collective goal to raise awareness about healthy living and wellness for all and create a more inclusive, kinder global community.
Climb With Rio is one of the countless events the team spearheaded over the years to raise awareness of people with disabilities in the UAE and to facilitate their involvement in sport. Nick and Rio are regular participants in endurance racing events in the UAE and around the world. Nick has completed more than 215 races with Rio who has a rare chromosome disorder, using specialist equipment so they can both cross the line together.
To find out more about the Watsons, follow @teamangelwolf on Instagram.