Volunteering with the Special Olympics

Recently, I had the opportunity to volunteer at the Special Olympics of North Carolina.  Over 1,700 competitors from all over the state competed for the coveted gold, silver and bronze medals.  Competitors gathered to compete in the ‘Summer Games’ which included volleyball, softball, power lifting, gymnastics, athletics and aquatics.    

In 1968, the woman responsible for starting the Special Olympics, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, gave a memorable speech stating, "Let me win, but if I cannot win let me be brave in the attempt."  She delivered those memorable words at the first Special Olympic Games held at Soldier Field in Chicago. 

Today, the Special Olympics involves almost 4 million athletes with intellectual disabilities around the world plus families, coaches, volunteers, sponsors and celebrities supporting them every day.  Every photo I snapped captured the excitement and energy of each competitor.  For me, being surrounded by hope and joy made it impossible not to smile.  It truly was a happy place for everyone – competitors, staff and especially the families.

The Special Olympics is a tax exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.  To learn how you can get involved, visit www.specialolympics.org.  Below are some snapshots I hope make you smile.

Janet Bolin


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