The Special Olympics provides round trainings in athletic clubs and competitions. State level and regional ones as well with over a million athletes and unified sport partners. This all started by Eunice Kennedy Shriver. The CEO is now Timothy Shriver.
Special Olympics has done a lot for the Differently Abled. It makes us become independent, build friendships, helps us to learn and build confidence. It also helps us to become healthy athletes. When joining Special Olympics, you can join when you are 8 years old and go everywhere for competitions up until your 80 years old.
Special Olympics means a lot to me, we get to play sports with our friends and have fun making lifelong friendships. There are tons of sports to participate in such as badminton, track and field, swimming, bocce, bowling and cycling just to name a few.
How did I get involved in Special Olympics? When I was in high school I was in a gym class and we were playing softball and I couldn’t keep up physically. Then through a friend I was connected with Special Olympics. I started with bowling, then found soccer and joined many more sports teams after that. I felt included and everyone was able to keep up with everyone. In Special Olympics you get to travel for competitions. Here is how I was able to go to Athens, Greece.
First you need to compete in your local competition and place. Then your name is put into a pull of other people’s names who have won their local competitions. I won multiple medals, but at this competition I won a gold medal in bocce. It qualified me to get picked from many people to go to Athens, Greece to compete in the Special Olympic summer world games in 2011. It was awesome! I got to go to San Diego and meet with the USA team for training.
That summer, I went to the island of Rhodes to get acclimated to the weather and experience it firsthand. I represented Team USA in bocce. I was there for three weeks. I walked in opening ceremonies beyond amazing. Stevie Wonder and Vanessa Williams was the entertainment. I placed in 2nd and 3rd place. I brought home medals. The ceremony was Greek mythology and it was 4 hours long. It was just incredible. I was over the moon excited.