There’s the athlete, who having never left their hometown, is given a passport and an airplane ticket to spend two weeks in a different country.
There’s the coach who spent countless hours mentoring his athletes both on and off the playing field.
There are families, most of whom have very little financial freedom for travel, who sacrifice, scrounge and save every penny to be here just to watch their athlete compete.
There’s the sport official, who is a highly respected (medical) doctor in the US, who makes volunteering his time at Special Olympics events his passion, putting the athletes above all else.
There are the military veterans, volunteering in a variety of different roles, who praise our athletes as heroes and inspiration.
There’s the athlete who, like me, was adopted from Korea, raised in Oregon, and experienced his first trip back to compete while his Korean foster parents were in the stands (yes this really happened and chokes me up when I talk about it).
And there are tens of thousands of stories, all similar and yet, all the same. Athletes, coaches, volunteers, families All from different corners of the earth. All here for one purpose.
You, reading this, have a chance to be a part of these stories. In 2015, the Special Olympics World Summer Games will be hosted in Los Angeles. Visit the website, http://www.la2015.org/. Get involved in a local program now.
Please, be a part of this.
I promise you won’t regret it.