Wednesday, June 13, 2007
This was our second year being involved with Special Olympics, but the first year that Dave and I got to enjoy the total experience of the weekend. Last year I had just had surgery, so we didn't stay on campus and only got to a couple of the games.
This year Dave and I stayed on campus at Southern CT State University with the kids all weekend. We had David, Jake, and Ben competing on the soccer team and we also had Caroline with us. It was a ton of work to pack up 6 people for the weekend stay, but so worth every second.
It is amazing to see such support from the community for the athletes and their families. It is difficult to explain how incredible it is to watch the athletes compete and work together as a team. It is amazing to watch n athlete extend a hand to an athlete on another team for help when they need it... how many times do you see a team member on a pro league extend a hand to someone on the opposite team when they are down? My guess is not much. Everyone could learn a lesson or 2 from the athletes and the unified players who competed this weekend.
Personally, I watched David and Ben excel playing soccer. They both scored several goals, they cheered each other and their teammates on, they played fair, they were good sports. I am so proud of both of them. I also watched Jake who played on the team as a unified player. He isn't even supposed to be playing because of a heal injury, but he just couldn't stay away. He bargained with the coaches to allow him on the field if he promised not to run at all. I watched Jake assist his teammates, encourage them, I also watched him play in a way that allowed the athletes on the other team an opportunity to score goals when every competitive fiber is telling him to play back... this is something that few adults can master, but Jake at 11 years old understands.
I also want to take a second to thank the coaches... Andy, Torrie, and Jeff for all their dedication to the team and all their hard work.
Andy... thank you for taking the boys to the movies on Saturday night.. even after David barged in and woke you up.. it was a nice break...thank you, thank you, thank you!!! It was an incredible, exciting, exhausting weekend. I hope you all enjoy the photo's. Please e-mail me if any of you on the team want copies of any of the pictures and I will e-mail them to you.
Have a good rest of the week.....
Posted by Vicki at 6:51 PM