Every day, in every corner of the world, athletes, coaches, volunteers, donors and sponsors are finding that Special Olympics inspires them to be their best. Consider the following members of our Special Olympics Virginia team:
Athlete Eddie Martin of Colonial Heights: When Eddie was born, his parents were told he would never sit up, walk, talk, potty train or do anything most other children naturally do. Doctors recommended he be institutionalized. His parents didn’t listen and today he is an accomplished athlete, a Special Olympics Virginia Global Messenger, a valued employee and an accepted member of his community. As Eddie says: “If you have to label me, label me able.”
Coach Meg Powell of Richmond:
Several years ago, Meg volunteered at a Special Olympics softball game. She now coaches basketball and softball. “I can’t describe the feeling of unconditional acceptance and friendship I felt when a teammate demanded that I use his bat, the one he practically sleeps with, or the time when he called me not by name, but ‘my friend.’ Special Olympics is not about what you give to the athletes, but what you receive.” Volunteer Joyce Beverly of Richmond:
“Thank you for allowing me and my friends to participate in the events on Saturday. We all left with a new outlook on what is normal. I loved learning that these athletes were just as gifted as any other athlete. Their pride and excitement was overwhelming. We greatly applaud each athlete, and every person who assists in making Special Olympics a place of great pride and enjoyment.” Sponsor Donnie Knowlson with Virginia Farm Bureau:
“While Special Olympics is the benefactor of the gift, it’s really the sponsor who benefits. If you just give financially and don’t get your employees involved, you’re missing something. The program is inspiring. Who doesn’t need inspiration?”
Special Olympics inspired all of these people, and it can inspire you, too. Special Olympics is a great way to have fun and give back, but it’s the human connections people make through Special Olympics that truly change attitudes, open eyes to new possibilities and transform lives.