A couple of weeks ago Special Olympics New Mexico held its first Unified Team Bowling Tournament.  Seventy teams participated, and judging by the outcome, this will be a bigger tournament next year.  There was a lot to observe that day.

To start with, half of the bowlers on each team were Special Olympics athletes – the other half nondisabled athletes including friends, family, law enforcement torch run officers, classmates, etc.  The mix brought the kind of moments that we all love – the kind that only happen when people feel safe.

When you think about “place” and you think about “relationship” – feeling safe can make all the difference in the world.  “Safe” creates a freedom to be who you are – where you are.  When we feel safe – we are comfortable and not afraid to open our selves and our  hearts to others.  When that happens – yahoo and look out!

“Safe” starts with a smile and goes and grows from there by adding KINDness, FORGIVEness, SELFLESSness, and TOGETHERness.  The thought that all of those things can actually be found in sport these days is pretty amazing, and the fact that it does happen in Special Olympics makes us one of the best things goin’.  Play Unified – Live Unified.

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