Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ben Brings Home The Silver!


Ben receiving his medal.
The lump in my throat and the tears welling up in my eyes is a recurring experience for me at any Special Olympics event. We arrived early and Ben was not even at the bowling alley, but I was fighting back tears. Luckily Logan was with me to keep me in line - he wanted to play video games while we waited for Ben's bus to arrive. A mom crying at the bowling alley before the games even began would have made for an interesting tale.
This is the first year Ben could officially compete in the Special Olympics. The school organized the practices and coordinated with the county division of Special Olympics. I am unsure how it all works, but Ben bowled today.
The national anthem was played to a crowd of over 100 students, teachers and volunteers at the local bowling alley. The athletes repeated the Special Olympics Oath: “Let me win, but if I can not win, let me be brave in the attempt.” It was not the torch or a billion dollar fireworks show, but it worked for me. I was proud of Ben for being there.

As far as Ben goes, he was more excited to have his brother, Logan, visiting. His effort and enthusiasm for the game of bowling was less than stellar. It is the chance I take when I visit Ben at school or any program - his attention is on his family and not the task at hand.

Ben received 2nd Place, he competed against the other two students in his lane. Everyone who participated left with a medal.

I think part of the reason I am misty eyed during these events is that I am warmed by all the people it takes to put this type of thing together for my child (and all those other kids too). Without the assistance of the adult and children volunteers, the event could not have taken place.

Let's not forget Eunice Kennedy Shriver's vision and leadership in making the Special Olympics a reality.

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