There are so many pieces that come together – literally thousands of people who make it work – and more amazing moments than most people have in a life-time. It really is almost impossible to process. Having had a few days to watch not only our athletes compete, but our coaches do their thing – I can tell you this – the Special Olympics New Mexico coaches who went to Lincoln Nebraska were remarkable. I am finding it hard to thank them enough, and I am honored to share with you just a few of their thoughts.
Linda Charzuk – Bocce Coach. “For me, the week was all about being with the athletes – my friends. We hung out really well together, and I so enjoyed getting to be a part of their lives. Every one of us who were selected as coaches were there for our athletes, and it showed. It was never about anything other than doing everything we could possibly do to make sure they gained a lot from their National Games experience.”
Chris Castillo – Track Coach. “These Games were just great and the thousands of volunteers who gave of themselves were outstanding. I guess for me, it was a week of this great sense of pride that I felt for our athletes and what they accomplished. I got to know them at a deeper level and the depth of those relationships will always be there between us. It was a lot of fun, and although I came home tired, it was a great tired!”
Carolyn Olson – Aquatics Coach. “You can only explain National Games using adjectives and superlatives! It was such a privilege to be there, and I feel so blessed. For the thirty some years I’ve been involved, whenever I am with our athletes, there is always something new and always something wonderful. I love their personalities and their enthusiasm – they are so eager. My week at National Games was extraordinary, and I grew. I am grateful for having been able to be a part of it.”
Todd Phillips – Golf Coach. “I think for all of us coaches, it wasn’t ever about us being there to enjoy Lincoln – it was about doing whatever we had to do, however we had to do it together to make sure our athletes had the time of their lives. We accomplished that, and it was fantastic.”
Molly Sorce – Rhythmic Gymnastics Coach. “This group of coaches seemed to gel really well together. Everyone took responsibility for everything. There was never a “no” but always a “yes, I can help with that.” My athletes were incredible, and oh my gosh, they did so well. They went prepared to perform, and I have the utmost respect for how they handled themselves.”
Ronda Norfleet – Bowling Coach. “The Games were so great, and the athletes were so much fun. I loved seeing what they accomplished and couldn’t hold back the tears when it came time to watch them get their ribbons and medals. Our athletes want to play, and they love to play, and I love being with them.”