The Special Olympics World Games got underway this past weekend at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
Michelle Obama kicked off the 2015 Special Olympics World Games with a touching speech, citing her immense pride, love, and inspiration she has for all of the athletes competing in the Special Olympics, and that her feelings were shared by the millions viewing the games all over the world.
Tens of thousands were in attendance Saturday night to take in the first Olympics in Los Angeles since the 1984 Summer Games. The festivities included musical performances, a parade of over 7,000 athletes, representing 165 countries who marched through the Coliseum amidst a chorus of cheers, and the lighting of the Olympic torch.
Maria Shriver echoed the sentiments of her mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver who held the first Special Olympics in Chicago 1968,
“She was so proud of you and wanted more than anything for you to be respected, valued, appreciated for who you are,” Shriver said. “Brave, good, kind, solid, and yes, smart human beings.” These are the sentiments that make these games truly “Special”.
The Special Olympics was founded on unity and inclusion within the framework of athletic competition. Inclusion in peer activities, such as playing sports, plays an important part in the development of social skills for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and related disabilities.
The Special Olympics World Games are a true inspiration to humanity with the athletes being the physical embodiment of inclusion, courage, and acceptance. So get out, get active, and play and more importantly include others, and extend an invitation to those who seem to stay on the sidelines. This small act of kindness may have a meaningful impact on someone’s life, and it may just change your life as well.
Find out how you can be involved in Special Olympics World Games. The Games will run from 25 July to 2 August.
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