Special Olympics World Games Blog

Special Olympics World Games Blog

Today was the Global Development Summit. We heard from various world leaders and incredible athletes about inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in every way possible. Many people had various takes on how this could happen and it we left inspired to want to do our part to make others aware of the rights of people with intellectual disabilities. Each evening, there is a cultural event we can attend so that we can experience various aspects of the Korean culture while we are here. Tonight's event was a Korean Ballet and illusionist.

Janie spoke with Cindy McCain today (picture attached), Yao Ming rode with us on the escalator and we got to say hello, and Tim and Linda Shriver found out what we were doing at the World Winter Games and invited us to stay with them the next time we are in Washington D.C. Dr. Tim Shriver has been to South Dakota, he told us he spent time at Pine Ridge. Both were excited to meet our group from South Dakota and made sure we felt welcome at the Global Development Summit. We couldn't imagine how all the dignitaries felt all day with the cameras flashing; we had our picture taken several times today and Nicole J. was interviewed for a Korean television show (picture attached). Today was an unforgettable day for sure!

Tonight's blog question(s):
What was the best part of your day?
Describe one thing you took from today that you will implement towards positive change in the states?

Nicole D.- The best part of my day was when the magician’s bird almost took of Hillary’s head or meeting the Shriver’s. When I return to the states I really want to become involved with the local Special Olympics. Now that I’ve graduated I feel like I can be of greater service to my community, and look forward to deeper involvement with the Special Olympics.

Hilary: The best part of my day was having the chance to go the Global Development Summit. It was definitely an honor to be surrounded by some many influential and inspiring people. One aspect of today I want to implement towards a positive change in the United States is “The Power of One”. It was really inspiring to know that one person can and will make a positive change in the world. Look at Eunice Kennedy Shriver; she reached her goals through dedication and perseverance. She didn’t stop even though instant gratification feels really good, so I hope I can make a positive change in the world through the power of one.

Morgan: The best part of my day was the ballet and magic show we saw in the evening. I was involved with ballet when I was younger and it was fun to see, and the magician was very entertaining. The thing I will take back with me for positive change is that it can all start with one. Many times we feel that we need a group, but if one person starts something then a group may follow.

Amanda: The best part of my day was when the team was told by Linda Shriver that we were welcome to her and Tim’s home in D.C. What I will take with me to make positive change in the states is that one person can make a change as shown by Eunice Shriver and her work done to make the Special Olympics possible.

Nicole J.- I enjoyed so many things about today. I loved the opportunity to be immersed within so many leaders from so many different countries. I’m hoping to take home with me the same passion and enthusiasm that is present here and apply it to our local community to make great change.

Janie: The best part of my day was shaking hands with Cindy McCain, and getting the privilege of having my picture taken with her. She was such a personable person. It was a thrill to stand beside her. I learned a lot having to make the move. Not only in asking Cindy McCain for her picture but also in listening to Dr. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi say that the best thing is to take the step. I want to remind people in the states to stand up and move. Let’s start doing!

Devon: The best part of my day was attending the Global Development Summit all together. More-so than just seeing/meeting famous people all day, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to and meeting the Special Olympian Global Messengers. One thing I will take away from today is that you should never discount anyone with intellectual disabilities. As shown by Loretta Claiborne, someone with intellectual disabilities can not only overcome their disabilities, but they can give some of the most commanding and powerful speeches you can imagine.

Peter: Best part of the day was definitely the ballet show and magic show at night. Very cool stuff, beautiful performance and incredible magic illusions. I will take back with me the idea of really getting something out in the open and talking about it, even if people don’t want to. There needs to be open conversations on the issues around the world and in communities. Otherwise, the issues get swept under the rug and ignored.

Alyssa: The best part of my day was meeting Andy and the other ambassadors. Their stories were amazing, and they were a joy to be around! It was like being around celebrities! I got my picture taken with them, and they gave me a hug. They were great people, and I am very lucky to have met them. One thing I learned today that I could bring back to the states is that we need to include the disabled in decision-making. By making decisions about them without them, we are only further excluding them and nothing is changing for the better. If I am sick, and nobody asks me what part of me feels sick, it will be awfully hard to fix me. The same is said for this issue. Who knows the problem better than the people living it?

Lauren: The best part of today would have to be the illusionist and ballet. It was wonderful experiencing a part of their culture. The illusionist made me laugh in joy along with the majority of everyone else in the auditorium. When I get back to Spearfish, I want to bring back the idea of the flame that burns inside all of us to make a change. Hearing the idea that we should start the change with the youth is an excellent idea. I think that if we can have a symbol in town that represents the fire that we can bring would be a reminder that we can start the change here, in Spearfish. A step towards equality can start in our homes and our hearts.

Feeling inspired? Take risks with us when we return! Let's make positive change happen.
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