A few years ago at the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants, all physically or mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the 100 yard dash.
At the gun, they all started out, not exactly in a dash, but with a relish to run the race, to the finish, and win. All, that is, except one little boy who stumbled on the asphalt, tumbled over, and began to cry. The other eight heard the boy cry. They slowed down and looked back. Then they all turned around and went back. Every one of them. One girl with down’s syndrome bent down and kissed him and said," this will make it better."
Then all nine linked arms, and walked together to the finish line. Everyone in the stadium stood, and cheered; the cheering went on for several minutes.
People who were there are still telling the story.
This may not be an entire true story, but for one like me who works with people with special needs, this story actually tells of the courage of our athletes. Winning is secondary, but to be out there to show the World what they can do and to be given the opportunity to be out there; these make a lot of different to the special needs community.
They may be different, but they can do it, as long as WE believe in them.
Special Olympics is an organisation providing sporting opportunities for people with intellectual disability. It inculcates the importance of allowing people with special needs to showcase their sporting ability to the community out there. Special Olympics had programs over 170 countries and if you are keen to volunteer, please do not hesitate to call in at any of the Special Olympics office near you.