Athletes aren’t the only special things about Olympics

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 19, 2005

This newspaper tries to make an extra effort to cover local Special Olympics events. As those who flipped through Sunday’s paper read, there’s a group of people trying to bring such a program to Suffolk, and to those that wish to partake in such a wonderful event.

It’s not just the athletes that are special. So are the coaches, the board members, the officials, and the rest of the people that come out to help with the events. It’s the people who are willing to devote their time to people that deserve it. They’re special because they’re willing to give up a little for someone else.

And that’s not all. The feeling that these people get is also special. Special Olympics athletes don’t know how to not do their best. They don’t know how to lose. Even if they finish last, they’ll still be proud of themselves if we let them know how proud we are of them.

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Some people refer to Special Olympians as handicapped. That’s not always true.

Let’s talk about what a mental retardation is. Does it mean that a person’s IQ is lower than most? Does it mean that someone is incapable of making decisions for themselves?

Well, that’s what a textbook might say.

Whereas things like sportsmanship, positive attitudes, and a love for the game (winning or losing) is sorely lacking in &uot;normal&uot; sports today, these special people show us all how great the spirit of competition can be.

– JN