Behind the pageantry and drama of this weekend’s opening ceremonies of the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles you will find a powerful force of nature whose creativity and passion have made this amazing event come to life. Her name is Debbie Allen, and she is a true American treasure.
Tumbling, cheering, dancing and stunting have become as much a part of the athletic experience at sporting events as the teams competing. So it was only fitting that the sport of cheerleading is finally making it’s appearance at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games.
Today, Kristine Hughes proudly wears many labels. College graduate. Special Olympics Athlete. And now, one of the few accredited volleyball referees with an intellectual disability. For most of her life though, Kristine struggled to understand where she fit in.
Allie and Jessie met on the basketball court, through Unified Sports, a Special Olympics program that partners athletes with and without intellectual disabilities in the hope that they’ll form a bond. Their bond was formed on Day One. Much like mine with them.
Growing up in Minnesota you pretty much spend your life on the water, from a summer swim in the lake, to winter games of pond hockey. But in all my years living in the land of ten thousand lakes, I’ve never learned to sail. But that would change after a weekend on the Potomac with Terrel Limerick.
How much love can one person give? We all live busy lives. We may have visions helping others, but often the realities of our own commitments take over and those hopes are unrealized. One Charlotte, North Carolina man shows that, even with our overloaded lives, there is no limit to the amount of love one person can spread.