I went to the opening ceremonies for the Ohio Special Olympics. I am a Mason and Masons are a major contributor to the Special Olympics, so we get to walk around the track, as participants and their friends and family cheer. It was nice.
I later left the Mason staging area, while we were hobnobbing, and walked to the stadium. The stadium is the Jesse Owen Memorial Stadium, built about a dozen years ago when the refurbishing of Ohio Stadium eliminated the track. The new stadium, named after Ohio State track and field legend, Jesse Owens, is a smaller venue, but very nice, and it was packed.
I took a seat about half way up, and watched the rest of the opening ceremony. All the participants were on the field and were having a ball. Earlier I saw these young adults all over the place and the smiles were rampant. During the opening speeches,a lot of the speech was directed to them and they were just full of joy.
Just before i left, I heard one of the participants called to the mic, where he said the Special Olympics Motto, "Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." It was really touching. I was glad I was wearing dark sunglasses as my eyes got a little watery.
If you can, if one is going on nearby, take some time to ride, bike or walk over and cheer these athletes on. They are truly inspiring.
If you live in Columbus, it's less than a mile west of the Olentangy Greenway, on Fred Taylor Drive between Ackerman, Olentangy River Road, Lane and 315. It's on tomorrow and Sunday. You will not regret it.