This past weekend I volunteered at the aquatic events for the 2013 Special Olympics Northern California Summer Games. The games took place at UC Davis, also known as el fuego.
By the time we got there to check in around 9am, it was already 88 degrees! Over 700 athletes competed in the Games, and some of them got to hang out in the coolest place in town.
The Special Olympics is an awesome organization that seeks to help athletes with intellectual disabilities prepare for life through sports. In the weeks leading up to the Games, the athletes participate in regional qualifying competitions. The different events at the Games include Aquatics, Bocce, Tennis, and Track and Field. The athletes are as young as 8 with no upper age limit, and each event’s heats are arranged so that athletes of similar abilities are competing against one another.
I’ve volunteered at the Summer Games for the past few years, and find it an incredibly inspiring and rewarding experience. Being able to connect with the athletes, to hear their stories, share their joy in victory and their determination to compete with their full heart, has been a gift and a lesson in what overcoming obstacles really means.
The Special Olympics Athlete Oath is is how we should all approach life, shooting for success but acknowledging that true value lies in the attempt and approach just as much as the final outcome.
We stopped by Sonic on the way home. So many delicious choices, so many opportunities for my stomach to be brave.
What has been your favorite volunteer experience?
What’s your favorite Sonic menu item?
Do you have a favorite motivational quote? Share it below!