If I say this every year I apologize, but I think this year’s State Summer Games were our best Summer Games, yet. They were an ensemble of so many memorable parts and pieces – all I have done for weeks is talk about them. In my mind – there were highlights.
Honoring the people of our past who were instrumental in getting SONM firmly on the ground and moving forward was humbling. As they gathered on Friday evening at our Chairman’s Reception – watching each of them reconnect was a memory in itself. This accomplished group can never be thanked enough not only for what they accomplished on behalf of our athletes, but because of their passion, how they inspired so many others to do the same.
There are Masters of Ceremonies and there are Masters of Ceremonies, and then there was Jamie Imai. From the moment the microphone was firmly in his grasp, this athlete from Artesia took the Opening Ceremonies from good to great. He was really funny and simply a natural – and in case you are wondering, yes, I have already invited him back for next year.
The Drum Line. They were loud, dynamic and entertaining – and, if you were able to see each one of their faces, you could tell they loved playing for us as much as we loved watching them perform.
An amusement park – all to ourselves? Moving the Closing Ceremonies Victory Dance out of the Olympic Village was a good idea. Moving it to Cliff’s Amusement Park was an off the charts better idea. The rides, the prizes, the Lota Burgers, the Dance, Cliff’s employees and the 2200 members of our Special Olympics family made this night a night to remember. All I heard was “this is so much fun.”
My last thought is this – Special Olympics is not just about great moments in sport – it’s about constantly challenging ourselves to take what’s already great and achieve something even greater. It’s gotten us where we are today and should be creating some enthusiasm for what the future holds. “Greater” doesn’t just happen, but using Summer Games as the example, its impact on people makes it all worth it. So, what are you working on right now??