Posted by: karenevoss | June 13, 2012

Inspiring Athletes

“Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt”. –Special Olympics Oath

People inspire us in lots of different ways. Through words written and spoken; from acts of courage to competitive athletic competitions to nature scenes. Inspiration lives everywhere.

Over the weekend, I attended a duathlon where athletes run and bike a set distance of miles. I received an invitation as a spectator to see the multisport action and how the athletes transition between the events. I am competing in my first triathlon in August 2012, so this became a real learning experience.

Impressive=watching the quickness of the runners and bikers and how they can somehow take very little time to transition between running, biking, and running again. In the end it doesn’t matter who really took first place (ok maybe for the athlete), but the fact is, they are all winners because they gave it their all and crossed the finish line. I had friends competing though I didn’t know what position they were in. It didn’t matter because everyone had cheers coming their way.

This Saturday, always before Father’s Day, I will again be volunteering my time to Special Olympics, in Milwaukee, WI. This day involves tee ball, softball, and bocce games to qualify for a tournament. I will again be keeping score for softball and it isn’t as easy as you might think. I volunteer not just for involvement in my community, but because my brother is an athlete. They compete in a lot of events throughout the entire year: from bowling to track and field, to basketball and swimming and events I don’t know about. I cheer on everyone, though I admit, I’m partial to any Team Milwaukee team. Smile

An athlete might be the last to finish a run, but he will do it and sometimes have someone else come back out to encourage him and to cross that finish line. She might get discouraged knowing she didn’t do her best, but she doesn’t give up. These athletes, who although fight intellectual disabilities, are just like everyone else; the only differences come from within. They have bigger hearts and they don’t give up. Their smiles are contagious as well as the high-fives and hugs. Over time, you get to know the athletes and they always remember you.

You and I may never make it to the Olympic games but there are Olympian’s in our midst everyday all year round.

Determination, strength, courage, and the wings to fly…what everyone needs to compete.

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