Special Olympics World Games Blog

Special Olympics World Games Blog

03
Janie- What an outstanding day or even week for me. I have received the privilege of becoming friends with so many of these athletes. Yesterday I met an athlete that was a snow shoer, and we have become very good friends. She has left an imprint on my heart. She gave me a key chain, and was so excited about the dog tag I gave her. She has taught me how to be a true friend. I’ve never had someone get so excited to see me. I love that she tells me about her race. So many of these athletes are coming to me and looking for me. They welcome me into their teams so willingly. It’s teaching me to be a person like that. I am learning so much about what true love and compassion is. I am learning about a joy that cannot be described. I hope that I can bring this love back to the states with me. I also love that they have taught me to try. Argentina cheered me on as I was trying to speak Spanish to them. Such encouragement is so needed these days. I will always remember all these athletes! This experience has been amazing.

Nicole D.- We’ve received 2-3 inches of snow in the last few hours and I can’t speak for the rest of the team, but I hope it snows all night. I know I won’t be the only one in this village delighted to see the fresh powder. Particularly the athlete I met from Nepal who had never seen snow before he arrived in Korea. Though his sport is snow shoeing, he had only ever done it while training in the sand. I am thrilled to see him realize his dream and am excited to watch him perform in the coming days. After speaking with him, I know that no matter what happens in the competition he has already won.
That sense of gratitude for being in this place is echoed daily by the other members of our team. I understand how the athlete’s feel when they say that they’ve already accomplished their goal just by being here. Though I have no doubts that we will reach our goals (another common thread I hear from the athletes), in many ways I feel like this trip has already been a major success. After months of work, and planning and dreaming… Here we are! Collecting data and meeting athletes from around the world. It’s surreal to think that we are over half way done. It feels like we’ve been here forever and for no time at all. I intend to take full advantage of the next few days and collect as much data, experience as many things as I can. But no matter what, I am incredibly proud to be a part of this group and grateful to be working on this project.
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