Ben is just ONE athlete who participates in the Special Olympics. There are many children and adults with intellectual disabilities who benefit from the sports programs, coaching relationships and fellowship that comes along with competing in the Special Olympics.
There are no costs involved for the athletes. They attend practices, local tournaments, state games and world games - with no cost to them. All expenses are paid through donations.
Today at 6:54am, a message on Facebook popped up from John, "hi vanessa". John is one of the adult athletes I met through the Special Olympics steering committee. After hellos and how are yous, John told me that he was going to the state games today for track and field. He competes in the softball throw and the 25 and 50 meter races. He proudly shared with me that he has been involved with track since 1972. After he assured me that he would stay hydrated at today's games, we said our goodbyes.
I can only hope that in 40 years, Ben will still be surrounded by this supportive and loving community of coaches, volunteers and athletes. Help keep Special Olympics strong. Donate to the Special Olympics Unified Relay Across America: Ben's Special Olympics Page.
** Ben is carrying the Flame of Hope on June 4, 2015. He will be riding his tricycle for a 1/2 mile segment of the route to LA for the World Games. He needs everyone's support to raise money for the Special Olympics. Find out more information here: Unified Relay Across America