Some of my favorite memories in sport are the silent and solitary ones. Growing up hitting a tennis ball against the garage door, driving worn out golf balls into the woods behind our house, dribbling a basketball around the paved driveway of the church across the street. All of those moments were uncomplicated, inexpensive, and so very good for my mind and soul. Those times allowed me to be present to I was thinking and feeling. I was alone with sport and free to express myself.
I have given thought about those times more than usual since the pandemic began, because I have been intentional about following the Facebook posts of our Special Olympics athletes. They have given me a whole new appreciation not only for their commitment to participating in sport from their homes, but for their amazing ability to express themselves through their commitment to art.
Much has been written about the relationship of sport and art. Both disciplines cross borders, generations, and cultures. They speak of similar things: practice, endurance, emotion, focus, and dedication. They teach us more about ourselves and–in wonderful ways–connect us to others.
I am delighted to share with you just a few of our Special Olympics New Mexico athletes who are also artists. May you unite with them as you enjoy the ways they have chosen to express themselves. As they often do, they may just inspire you to do the same.
Athletes included in the photos:
Christian Baird – SO Sandia Prep
James Santillanes – SO Albuquerque Dukes
Ashli Lisenbee – SO San Juan County
Sarah Wilson – SO AGS
Abe Assaad – SO Sandia Prep
Steve Romero – SO Taos
Note: Christian, Sarah, James, and Steve are “starving artists” and happy to sell their art. For more information, please call or email SONM at email@example.com