Saturday, October 2, 2010

Youth Games, Special Olympics Oregon - Who Would Have Thunk?

Let me state this again, in case it was not clear the first time around - we did not consider ourselves the Special Olympic Types. I am not sure what I thought that Type was, to be honest. Down Syndrome athletes? Kids in wheel chairs or leg braces? Who knows. Kids-with-bigger-issues, maybe.

But of the 6 kids on Isaac's soccer team for the Special Olympics Youth Games at the Nike Campus today, there was one with Downs, one in a walker, and the rest had an ASD.

So, in short WE are Special Olympics. Just because of sheer numbers.

We dragged ourselves out of bed this morning to be at B-town for the 8am sign-up, groggy with a birthday cake hangover (Isaac turned 8 yesterday), and were directed to the Tiger Woods Center at Nike (this lead to a lot of interesting conversations, by the way. Tiger still has that effect). We signed in, signed off, and were directed out to this massive grassy space filled with pavilions, balloons, and armies of volunteers in red shirts. We spotted the orange balloons (soccer), and a Frenchmen holding a number 31 (Isaac's team). A pretty young woman named Stacey introduced herself to Isaac (Stacey is a World Cup Winning Soccer Player from the US Women's team, BTW - many of the volunteers had something impressive about them), and off he walked over to the opening ceremonies with Stacey, hand in hand.

And that was Isaac for nearly 3 hours.

He worked on dribbling, defense, got to be the goalie, and did the Hokey Pokey with his teammates, completely independent of us. There were 6 kids on his team, and 6 volunteers guiding and cheering them the whole time. At the end, he was awarded a blue ribbon and had a big smile.

It was a good morning, and we will do it again, and encourage more of our friends to join us. It was truly amazing - there were more volunteers then there were kids participating. And I kept wondering why there weren't more. There was more than enough room for more athletes. So next year I must remember to get permission to put out posters and hand out flyers letting others know it is happening. I came across the event in the most random way - looking at one of those Metro Parents magazines at OMSI so that I wouldn't fall asleep while O played with flubber for an hour.

It was good. I am happy.

1 comment:

  1. That's fantastic! We would love to participate sometime. Thanks. M