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Old 06-25-10, 07:56 PM   #1
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Special Olympics

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.
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Old 06-27-10, 11:08 AM   #2
Siu Blue Wind
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I know a lady who is a participant in the Special Olympics. I had heard about a fundraiser in the area and went to go help out. I volunteered all day and was keeping an eye out for her in particular, since she's pretty involved in it. She's active in swimming, basketball and softball. When I didn't find her, but saw her a few days later, I had asked her why she wasn't there helping out.

Her answer: "Oh I don't do any of that fundraising crap. I just compete."

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Old 06-27-10, 01:12 PM   #3
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I coached Special Olympics as a volunteer back in college. It was very cool. Got to spend the day surrounded by people who were so full of life and joy. Learned much that day, and sadly forgot a lot since. Thanks for the reminder Gitarzan.
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