“Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”
That’s the oath recited by Special Olympics athletes before every event. It perfectly sums up exactly what the spirit of this organization is about. Not everyone is an amazing athlete. We weren’t all blessed with blazing speed, exceptional hand-eye coordination, or immense strength. But everyone, regardless of age, skillset, size, or mental capacity, can give their best effort and do it with a positive attitude. That’s a choice. And it’s a choice that 99.9% of Special Olympics athletes make every time they step on the court, field, course, or venue.
Special Olympics is an opportunity for people of all ages, race, ethnicity, or creed to be active and enjoy time with their peers and friends. That goes for the athletes as well as the volunteers, supporters, coaches, and officials. The Special Olympics mission is to “provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.”
Once you’ve seen firsthand the determination and joy of a Special Olympics athlete achieving or simply attempting to achieve their goal you realize that it’s much more than sports. It’s human nature at its best. That’s not hyperbole, just talk to anyone with an open mind who has spent an hour at a Special Olympics activity. The level of respect and acceptance demonstrated is unparalleled, and the positive results are immeasurable and lifelong.
Special Olympics Allen County athletes participate in basketball, track & field, bowling, aquatics, golf, and more. The local organization is run entirely by tireless and enthusiastic volunteers and receives support from Special Olympics Indiana. There are many ways to get involved – participate as an athlete, volunteer as a coach, or if you’re not comfortable with providing instruction, they can use help with administrative duties, facilities, and financial support through donations and sponsorship.
To find out more or to get involved visit www.specialolympicsallencounty.org and click on the Contact Us tab. If you or someone you know could benefit from socialization and physical activity, track season will be starting soon and they welcome any and all assistance and participation – the only requirements are an open mind, a positive attitude, and a love for fun!