Saturday, May 7, 2011

Special Olympics

My feelings towards Special Olympics have always been rather ambivalent.  I remember Evan's first Special Olympics many years ago.  My little eight year old Special Olympian competed in a manual wheelchair race against an adult!!  Didn't seem like he had a chance to win.  Not that winning is the most important thing. didn't seem right to me.  Then there was the year that one of the clowns forced a latex balloon on Evan, who has a latex allergy.  I watched this from the stands during the parade of athletes, not being able to do anything.   Fortunately, he did not have a reaction.  I tried to discuss with the "powers to be" about the dangers of latex allergy, that they also used to decorate.  "They" didn't listen to me and still loved using the latex balloons to decorate and mark the different tents, etc.  So, I just tried to keep him away from the balloons.  Then there was the year that Evan competed in boce ball and one of the mothers stepped in and helped her son's team to win.  So, unfair!!!  

Through it all, Evan has enjoyed Special Olympics.  It makes him happy to compete.  So, I let him compete.  Last year was his first year winning a gold medal and I missed it to attend the funeral of a close friend. 

So, yesterday I was ready to attend Special Olympics again  and...

my Special Olympian was ready too!!

Evan was on The Learning Center team.

Evan loved being on the track!

 He raced his friend Katie in the 30 meter shalom. 

They both did great in the shalom thanks to power wheelchair soccer drills.

It was fun to see them on the medal stand together!

Yeah, Evan and Katie!!!!  It was great to hear all the cheering for all the athletes!!

  Evan got to go through a "human tunnel" after the award ceremony.  I was backing up to get the video and ended up in this man's lap who was in a wheelchair.  Maybe he hadn't had anybody in his lap for a long time.  He just busted up laughing and I was so embarrassed.  
 Evan earned two gold medals yesterday, and also a special award for Most Supportive Athlete.  This award goes to those who "exemplify a caring and supportive attitude towards others".   I was pretty proud.  

At Special Olympics they always have a "tent city".  Different businesses and community organizations have booths with games and prizes.  At one booth they were giving out trophies.  Not just any trophy, but trophies that other people had earned and donated to Special Olympics.

I was very touched that people would give up their trophies to give to others.  Thank you, Lauren, I don't even know you, but Evan loves this soccer trophy!!

Yesterday's opening ceremony was very touching to me.  One of the local schools brought their band and their cheerleaders to support their team.  I had never seen that before. It impressed me.  It just seemed all around to me a more supportive feeling from than in years past.  Oh, and one more thing that made me very happy was I did not see a single latex balloon the whole day.  Yeah!!


Laurel said...

It looks like everyone enjoyed themselves. The video's were great. Just should have ended that one with the guy laughing. I would have been just as embarrassed. I am glad that Evan was a wonderful pariticipant and won two gold medals and a special certificate. I know it means a lot. It sounds like someone on the planning committee is finally getting the message about latex. Hurray for Evan!

Sandy said...

AWESOME!!!! Way to go Evan!!!

olivia (tringham) lyman said...

I never commented on this post, but I meant to. Congratulations to Evan!! It looks like he had an AWESOME day! Well done!!!!

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