After spending the day at Special Olympics, I completely changed my "train of thought" for Thankful Thursday! What an amazing day as special athletes from across Tuscaloosa experienced the thrill of participating in sports! Without Special Olympics, these awesome children would not be able to do so. Through the power of sports, people with intellectual disabilities discover new strengths and abilities, skills and success. These special athletes find joy, confidence and fulfillment -- on the playing field and in life. They also inspire people in their communities and elsewhere to open their hearts to a wider world of human talents and potential.
Annie's smile tells it all! The fact that she is wearing her first place ribbon in her hair (she participating in throwing a tennis ball and in assisted walking!) is symbolic of how Special Olympics adapts to the strengths of each individual child. Annie wouldn't think of wearing the ribbon in a traditional manner so her principal pinned it in her hair bow! Clever and just perfect for her - her hair bow is just a part of who she is!
So...today I am thankful for 1) our athlete who was able to participate in Special Olympics for the first time, experiencing the joy of participation! 2) for her friends at Sprayberry who inspire her every day - fellow students and staff! 3) for organizers of the Special Olympics event - both the faculty of Sprayberry and in the community 4) for community volunteers who are there to help in any way and most of all who cheer the athletes they don't even know! and 5) for our sweet friend, Beth, who has participated in Special Olympics for 30 years and inspires us all!
|Annie with Beth and Debbie Anderson|
|Amazing Sprayberry Special Olympians!|