"Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."
~ Special Olympics creed
Yesterday and today, I had the humble opportunity to support and be a part of this year's Special Olympics Festival. The Festival is the largest fundraising activity of the year for the Special Olympics. It attracts a wide array of celebrities, sponsors and donors. This year's theme was "With Passion & Purpose" highlighting the passion that those living with an individual disability have exhibited over the year.
I can tell you as a world class athlete and Olympian myself, I was inspired. In my eyes these athletes demonstrate that the true challenges we face are the ones we perceive to be in our sights. These athletes have not allowed the word challenge or disability to define them!
They also reminded me that ENJOYMENT & FUN is the real reason any athlete begins to participate in sports. In the pursuit of excellence, sometimes this is forgotten and the fire within can be exhausted. I believe all of us should bare the Special Olympics creed - whether it is in sports or in life.
On another level, the involvement of these athletes is a testament that sports matters! Many of these Special Olympians participate in numerous sports in addition to having a job! They engage in a healthy lifestyle, inspite of their challenges (percieved by others). Yet, A vast majority of people WITHOUT any physical/mental challenges will choose to live a sedentary lifestyle. Ironically, by this choice, they are creating their own challenges in life as it relates to health and well being. In fact, the number one cause of death in North America is lifestyle related!!! Which, in essence means a healthy lifestyle choice can prevent heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and many other illnesses!!!
The Special Olympics is a testament to a healthy lifestyle and outlook on life. Supporting and attending the Special Olympics Festival was an incredible experience. I intend to continue to be involved and I look forward to attending next year's Festival!
Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt,