“May their dreams of the past be the reality of our future.” Those dreams will in part come to life this year at Special Olympics New Mexico’s State Summer Games. As the theme we have chosen suggests, we will be “Honoring Our Past.”
Nearly 42 years ago a hand full of New Mexicans began laying the ground work, so that our state’s children and adults challenged with intellectual disabilities could be given the chance to participate in Special Olympics. Fueled by Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s vision, along with their own personal sense of fury around the injustice and lack of opportunity that existed, these pioneers paved the way for thousands who would for years to come reap the benefits of their commitment through the transformational joy of sport. In 1970 thirty Special Olympics athletes competed at the Albuquerque Academy in the first recorded Special Olympics New Mexico Games.
Looking back in time and remembering those people and their work is important. The challenges and struggles they faced and met have helped shape who we are today. As I am starting to put our organizational historical pieces together by listening to the stories told from those instrumental in creating our beginnings, I am left with this thought. One day “we” and “our work” will be “the past” and others will be looking back. I wonder if they will be just as amazed at the change in the world that has happened because of us. I wonder if every single day we are doing enough, and thinking big enough.
On behalf of our athletes and families, I wonder what is out there for us just waiting to be accomplished.