People with special needs.
I love, love, LOVE being around them!
I have the super great opportunity to be involved with special olympics. Every Saturday morning I get to go hang out with these people:) I am a "coach" for the Aggies team, which is made up of athletes from around Cache Valley. This season was swimming, bocce ball, and basketball. I did swimming, and loved being able to just swim around with them and have fun. People always asked me "so, you swam in high school?"....haha heck no! I'm not qualified at all! But that's the best part....you don't have to be good at anything to do special olympics! The athletes think you are the coolest thing, and listen when you tell them to go swim another lap!
There's a wide variety of athletes, some 14 year olds and some people 50+! The athletes are the cutest things, they get soooo excited about everything.
Last weekend were the state games for special olympics at the University of Utah. It's kinda a big deal, taking a whole bus full of athletes down to Salt Lake for the weekend. What an awesome experience it was! Swimming was all on Friday, and the athletes did so good! Every person gets a medal for every race they are in. After swimming was done we went to "olympic town" where they could play games, make little crafty stuff, and even get their hair done all fancy. It was so fun to just hang out with them, play games, and listen to the hilarious things some of them say.
Being around people with special needs is one sure way to boost your self esteem! My little friend Kathleen told me over and over "You are just so cute! You are just so cute! How come you are so pretty?!".....haha but then later after I declined to have my hair braided, she kept telling me "You are just so lazy! You are just so lazy! Why is your hair so straight?" hahaha
There were even opening ceremonies, with everyone walking in with their team, a band playing, the mayor of Salt Lake, Jazz dancers....the whole shabang!
And then......the dance! Holy. Smokes. Probably the best part. High school dances are over.rated. If you really want to have a good time, go to a special needs dance. These people know how to do it!
I love special olympics because all these people get to be "normal", to have the same opportunities that the rest of us take for granted. No one is there judging them, but there is a sense of unity as everyone cheers everyone on. Looks don't matter, size doesn't matter, ability doesn't matter. All that matters is everyone gets an opportunity to participate, and everyone is a winner. Other things in life should be more like this.