The other day a sports writer asked me this question – “High school, club, and intercollegiate athletes get a lot of media attention. Why are Special Olympics athletes deserving?”
When you have been involved in the Special Olympics movement for awhile, questions like that can be answered in a variety of ways, using different tones, and from many perspectives. I decided to give my Director of Sports and Competition a shot at sharing his thoughts about that, and here is what he had to say.
“In anything any of us do, we each establish our place in it. As athletes, we play for our place in sport. We work for what we get out of it. We train – we compete. We follow the rules of the game. We use registered officials and certified coaches. We maintain the integrity of the sport. Special Olympics offers all of that to our athletes, and if we didn’t – our place would be somewhere else.”
Like other athletes, have Special Olympics athletes worked for their place in sport? Yes they have. Do they get out of it what other athletes get out of it? Yes they do. Like those other athletes are they deserving of media attention? Yes they are. Would that attention bring value to others? More than most sports writers understand.