Tuesday, February 10, 2009

World Special Olympics - Idaho

"Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each others eyes" - Thoreau

I recall a close friend attending a Special Olympic Games in BC. He pointed out that, even after reaching his goal, the PSIA Demo Team changed his outlook on sport. It helped with the promotion of understanding, acceptance and inclusion between people. Something as a coach or teacher needs to be learned and understood. Far too often a person makes it to the top only to forget where they started. What is the point of reaching the top if you play dirty, take drugs, or are not liked?

Thousands of of athletes, coaches, families and fans from around the world are here in Idaho for the 2009 Special Olympics Winter Games.

The Special Olympics athlete oath:

"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."

Not all people can be the most-advanced athlete like a Lance Armstrong. It is said, the games will change the way a person view others with developmental disabilities and it is a matter of language and attitude.

Athletics’ even from the least advanced competition challenges not just its participants, but each of us in strengths, values and differences. There is always going to be language barriers, those who view this as insignificant and take it less seriously, very sad, smiles are infectious on all levels.

If it is the Tour de France, or Tour de CA, or Special Olympics Games, we all win!

Ideas are being introduced to crowds at all events. One that stands out is adopting the term "diffability" in place of "disability," because every person has different abilities and learning styles from the person next to them. Boy Howdy!

Idahoans have a unique opportunity watching exciting competition from McCall, ID, Bogus Basin, ID, Sun Valley, ID and at Boise's Qwest Arena.

A message can be strong enough, and creative enough, to spread. Games are important for us all!

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