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Specialized sports and fitness center is a space for Valley Paralympians to train for Tokyo Games

Ability360 provides adaptive sports, recreation, aquatic, and fitness programs encouraging the well-being of people in the Valley disability community.

PHOENIX — Editor's note: The above video aired during a previous broadcast.

If you're having Olympics withdrawal, the good news is, the 2020 Paralympic Games start soon. They run from August 24th to September 5th and you can catch all of the action on 12 News. 

Not only does Arizona have several athletes competing, but it's also home to a one-of-a-kind sports and fitness center that helps local Paralympians prepare for Tokyo. 

Phoenix's Ability 360 sports and fitness center also makes it possible for people who live in the Valley, like Corey Lovato, to stay active.

After breaking his neck in a snowboarding accident, Lovato wanted to continue his active lifestyle in his wheelchair.

RELATED: How to watch the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics

"That's always been a big part of my life and it is here," Lovato said. "It's really nice to be able to get into the gym and work out. Feel like you're really kind of back in your body, I guess."

Lovato appreciates the freedom the Ability 360 gym provides.

"Roll up to any of the machines and start working out from the chair," he said.

The non-profit fitness center is open to people with disabilities and their families, seniors and military members. 

Ability 360 is also home to Paralympians who train and work there, Brielle Carter, an Ability 360 senior manager said. 

"It's kind of a 360 full-circle experience," Carter said. "We're providing the work experience so they can work and train and make a living and represent Phoenix, Arizona and the United States in Tokyo."

The fitness center is also a venue for local, national and international adaptive sporting events, Carter said.

"We have a youth swim team, a master's swim team," Carter said. "We do aquatic classes, we do adaptive scuba diving, we do adaptive kayaking and paddleboarding, we also have a 35-foot high rock wall."

The wide array of activities promote health and independence.

For Lovato, who's also a staff attorney and Ability 360 board member, the gym is a place that keeps him busy outside too.

"To be able to go do sports again, you need the strength to be able to do that," he said. "Training in here makes it possible for me to go do that out there."

RELATED: Here are the Arizonans competing in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics

Tokyo Paralympics

Watch 12 News' coverage of the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. We're featuring Arizona athletes and other amazing stories from the Games!

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