It’s about pride, not winning

Published 12:25 am Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sports is full of clichés. One of the most popular ones says “It doesn’t matter if you win or lose. It’s how you play the game.”

That was never more evident than at the Special Olympics meet at Natchez High School Thursday.

Because for those Special Olympic athletes, it wasn’t about who won or who lost. It was all about the pride they felt just by getting out there and participating in the sports they love.

The Special Olympic athletes competed in many different sports, including walking, running and the tennis ball toss.

Many of those special athletes will be going to Nebraska this summer to participate in the national Special Olympics meet.

The youths that compete in these events are just like you and me. They love the thrill of competition and the camaraderie they build up with the people with whom they compete.

Special Olympics gives those people with special needs the ability to do things that they might not be able to do otherwise. Everyone has athletic dreams they want to live out. But without the Special Olympics, those with special needs probably wouldn’t be able to live out those dreams.

But the local Special Olympics program would be nothing without the tireless work of volunteers who go out of their way to help those with special needs feel, well, special.

It takes a lot of time and effort to work with these youths, not only in track meets like the one that took place at Natchez High, but other events the local Special Olympics has, such as swimming events.

Many thanks go out to the efforts of those who do their part to help out when help is needed.

It takes a special person to give themselves to help people not as fortunate as they are. Those who work with the Special Olympics are just those type of people. They go out of their way to make sure the people in the program have a first class vehicle to have fun and gain some self esteem.

Without these volunteers and workers, there would be no Special Olympics locally and the numerous Special Olympic athletes in the area would not be able to show their stuff and definitely would not be taking what, to some, will be the trip of a lifetime to Nebraska this summer.

Once again, thank you for all that you do for the special needs children in the Miss-Lou. The only payment they receive is the smiles on the children’s faces when they are competing in the events.

And that’s all the payment they would ever want.