"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." The Special Olympics motto still brings a tear to my eye. I was surrounded by a few hundred special children who had in mind the winning of a medal that only circumstances like these provide.



Olivia spent most of her time just chillin' and trying to look too cool for school. Even though she was wearing Brenda's sunglasses upside-down when I took this picture.



The grueling, tortuous softball throw was no match for the dauntless competitor. I wish Olivia had a sense of what the nature of this event is - a chance to compete and achieve. She primarily does this stuff because we ask her to - not from a desire to beat those other punk kids trying to get her medal. Brenda and I have discussed what we think she is actually perceiving about all this, whether or not she'll remember anything about this at all ten years from now. Who knows? I suspect not but I'm willing to try and use this experience as a building block for a future event that will be meaningful to her.



The Prince George's County police were there as always to show support to the community. I shook the hand of this particular officer and thanked him for his presence. His short, heartfelt response was, "Of course". Like it's to be understood that this is who we serve as policemen - those weaker than ourselves, those most in need of a hand to lift them or an arm to cradle them. She looks like me twenty-five years ago being escorted by a policeman except my encounter involved handcuffs (ahem).



Dad was happy to see her smile and to feel her hug me back when I embraced her after the 25 meter mosey. This is why I'll keep taking her annually, so that she will always know how proud I am.


Two Replies to Special Olympics 2011

Erik Bates | May 7, 2011
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