Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I love Special Olympics

Whether it is bowling, softball or track and field I love Special Olympics. Clark and Phil are in the middle of the track and field season right now. They had their district meet last Saturday on a cool, overcast day at a local high school. Both won silver medals for relay races so now we are waiting to hear if this will qualify them for the state meet the last of May at Ft. Lewis, about an hour south of us.

When Clark started participating in Special Olympics about 25 years ago I would attend his meets and the tears would begin to flow. It was not because I felt sorry for the athletes but because of how hard they tried. Whether an athlete came in first or last it didn’t matter, each was a winner. Tears only come occasionally now but I do not stop being amazed at these special athletes who are not concerned about looks, clothes, breaking records, or endorsements. I have seen a young woman running the 100m and just about to cross the finish line in first place stop to help someone who fell. It cost her the race but I doubt if that ever crossed her mind. Someone fell and needed help. Another athlete at another meet was well behind all the runners when he fell. When he stood up he seemed disoriented and went back to the starting line where he began again, long after everyone in his heat had crossed the finish line. Everyone was cheering for him as he stumbled along and then he realized the cheers were for him and he smiled and continued on his way until he finished. These are the true heroes.

Clark and Phil’s main coach for all events is someone who has devoted her life to helping the handicapped. She had a group home until bad health stepped in but she has continued with Special Olympics, of course like everyone, as a volunteer. And there are other faithful volunteers who help Mary Ellen. The Special Olympics Oath is "Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." Athletes and coaches alike are winners in my eyes.

1 comment:

  1. I love special olympics too and thanks for sharing that with us.