One of my favorite sounds in the world is the sound of Special Olympics medals when they tap together as they adorn the chest cavities of our athletes. Once you hear that sound, you never forget it. They “clink.”
These medals aren’t to be taken lightly. At our State Summer Games alone we spent $3,248 on them. In the “other” Olympics, coaches and athletes are paid huge dollars when a medal is won. Olympic medals are deeply valued and create tremendous national, state, home-town, and personal pride.
I have mailed medals to Special Olympics athletes who have lost them in residential fires. I have replaced new medals with old medals that have dropped and disappeared because their ribbons are so old and shredded they couldn’t bear the weight. I have watched tears of joy stream down the faces of those who have won them and even more tears of joy fall from the faces of their families during the Awards Ceremonies.
As many as I have seen presented, I think the thing I love most about Special Olympics medals are the stories of the athletes who win them.