We are just days away from the Opening Ceremony of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games! Our athletes have arrived in California and I would like to personally invite you to join us as we cheer for Special Olympics USA. The games may be in Los Angeles, but you don’t have to miss out on the excitement. Make plans to tune in to watch the Opening Ceremony of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games LIVE on July 25 at 8pm CT on ESPN and then keep watching coverage every day during the World Games! Won’t be near a TV on July 25 to watch the Opening Ceremony of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games? You can catch it live on your smart device or tablet on WatchESPN (must be a subscriber to view). Be sure to cheer on the athletes from Louisiana during the Opening Ceremony parade of athletes! ESPN’s coverage from Los Angeles begins with the Opening Ceremony on July 25th and continues daily, throughout the Games. ESPN is the official broadcast partner of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games.
Special Olympics is a global organization that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sport, everyday around the world. Through programming in sports, health, education and community building, Special Olympics is changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities solving the global injustice, isolation, intolerance and inactivity they face.
I just heard another fantastic story of how Special Olympics Louisiana is building self-confidence. The father of one of our athletes told us his son never really talked much and would not look people in the eye. Since he has become involved in Special Olympics, he has changed. He is now talking with people, shaking hands, and looking them in the eye. We are making a difference to those who are in our program, and we need to offer this program to the more than 120,000 of those who have not yet had the chance.
People with special needs are often the most caring of people. They do things without expectations of reward. They do things because it seems right to them. I challenge YOU. Bring a friend who has never been to a Special Olympics event to the next one you attend, talk to someone in your school with special needs that you wouldn’t typically hangout with, sign up now to volunteer, coach, or play unified with us! You can even make a difference by donating today! Join me in celebrating those people with special needs who have true hearts and true spirits. If you would like to help us instill confidence, change attitudes, and get more than you give, contact Special Olympics Louisiana. You can make the difference.
Pat Carpenter Bourgeois President and CEO of Special Olympics Louisiana
People are busier today than ever. The kids have to be shuffled from event to event, work day hours turn into night time hours, meals have to be prepared. How can you give back to your community when you have so much to do? Is there ever time for fun? How do you decide to become involved in your community? What does an organization do to make you feel needed and valued?
– Pat Carpenter Bourgeois, President and CEO of Special Olympics Louisiana
Recently I had an opportunity to listen to Special Olympics athletes and youth leaders within our organization. Youth leaders without intellectual disabilities partner with our athletes in a unique program – Project Unify. The youth leaders and athletes were conveying difficulties they were having within their own school systems- getting school leaders to allow them to participate in Special Olympics activities. One young adult had recruited 130 students within his school interested in participating in Project Unify, but the person who could give them approval within the school said no. The young student was not willing to give up. He knew the value of this program & wanted his friends to be allowed to participate. We were able to praise him for not giving up and help him to develop a strategy that won over the leadership at the school. Thanks to this young man more people will be able to engage in a life changing Movement. We need more tenacious and passionate youth leaders like this in our organization.
In recent months I have had time to reflect on the importance of family. Family can be many things to different people. For some of us our family is the bloodline into which we are born; for some it is our blended families which come into our lives through marriage; for some it is our colleagues whom we see daily, often times more than we see our immediate family members. I have also been reminded recently by a Special Olympics Louisiana athlete, who has no immediate family, that he views the volunteers, coaches and staff of SOLA to be his family. It is great to be a part of an organization which connects so strongly with the individuals we serve. What does your family mean to you?