Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Special Olympics Prep

This is a picture of Becky winning the gold medal at the Special Olympics Bowling Tournament!

Going to the Special Olympics is often the highlight of the year for many of the participants as well as their families and the volunteers.  Becky began taking part in the games since she was around 8 years old.  The games provided her with a much-needed sense of independence.  Becky's first night away from me was when she went to the state games in Oklahoma City back in 1992.  She was so happy and so proud! 

Becky used to participate in the softball throw.  Even though the ball always landed just inches away, she squealed with joy and had huge smiles. Of course, her specialty has always been the wheelchair races.  She does sprints & 100 yard dashes but really enjoys the obstacle courses.

After the state games, the biggest event...the event everyone loves the most...happens.  The dance!  

I have to say that there is nothing more joyful in this world than watching the Special Olympic athletes dance.  There is none of the se-conscious awkwardness so common at most dances. They get out on the floor and boogie!  They enjoy the slow dances that allow them to pair up with a special friend. But if you are on the dancefloor when the DJ plays Love Shack or La Bamba, you had better run for cover because they simply cannot be happier or more enthusiastic dancers. 

We found out today that Becky's team is going to have to do some fundraising in order to go to Albuquerque for the state games.  That's really no problem; in fact, Becky LOVES doing fundraising for Special Olympics. It's another opportunity for her to be with her friends and it's a party atmosphere.  This year they are selling tickets for an enchilada dinner.   Because Becky has to be transported in her electric wheelchair, she has to take a big van on the trip to Albuquerque....which means lots more gas.  Plus, because of her physical needs, she has to take along two caregivers to help her get from her chair to bed and vice versa.  So Becky's expenses will be higher than the others as she will be responsible for providing the caregivers with a hotel room.  

Oh well, there are always obstacles that make life challenging, huh?  Guess we'll meet those obstacles like Becky does with everything else...with a huge smile.

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