Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Special Olympics State Games- More then just sports...

In life,  it can be all too easy to get caught up in the everyday goings on, the routine things.  Life can be tough... and that's why it's so important to look for the silver lining and learn from others.  The Special Olympics State Games in Terre Haute, Indiana on June 2nd, 2012 at Indiana State University, was an event that did just that!  Disabilities disappear and athletes are refreshed and revived!   Sports provide the starting line of self improvement, confidence, determination and discipline.  What makes the Special Olympics State Games such a feel good event in addition to sports, is the people behind the scenes - people who give of their time, energy and resources to make sure that a CAN DO spirit lives at these games every year!  One of the highlights for me is hearing what makes the athletes proud to be a Special Olympian! Their faces glow!!
President/CEO Mike Furnish and Board Chairman Buzz Lail

Another highlight is talking to President/CEO Mike Furnish (and its not just because he told me this year that talking to me was the best 15 minutes he has :) Mike is one of the most dedicated people I have seen directing an organization like this!  His heart and soul show on his sleeve when he talks about Special Olympics!  This year, along with Mike, I met a new friend, Buzz Lail - Special Olympics board chairman.  Buzz is a dedicated amateur athlete who has competed in triathlons and many more sports.  And when I asked Buzz what athletes take for granted sometimes, he didn't hesitate to say with confidence, "The ability to do it tomorrow.  When I was younger, I didn't understand that I would have limitations and that they would change over time.  I knew it, but didn't understand it.  Our athletes come into these games with apparent limitations, and they know that those limitations will change over time,  just like the rest of us, but they face their limitations bravely".   I liked Buzz the second we started the interview because Buzz sees every athlete as a talent in their events, and just as good an athlete as he is.....the SAME.....Thank you Buzz....you warmed my heart by your comments and your commitment to Special Olympics!!

Interviewing Olympic Runner, Andrew Peterson 
Special Olympics Indiana strives to provide, what Mike says is, "a you can atmosphere" which translates into a person's mindset and attitude, along with a feeling of support which allows the disability to disappear and the person and who they really are to shine through - the transformation is unbelievable!  Thank you Mike for inviting me to experience the transformation of people's lives that is known as Special Olympics!!

Buzz said it best: " Some sports may get your body or your feet, but Special Olympics gets your heart....it gets all of you."  I invite you to experience Special Olympics for yourself....you will be glad you did....I'm sure glad I experienced it....it always brings a smile to my heart!

For more information on Special Olympics and Special Olympics Indiana go to: www.soindiana.org

Michelle Fischer is host of A View from My Window, a podcast produced by The Arc of Indiana

No comments:

Post a Comment