Monday, July 2, 2012

Special in more ways than one

     Special Olympics Southern California is a nonprofit organization that empowers individuals with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit, productive and respected members of society through sports training and competition. It is one of 52 Chapters within the United States and part of Special Olympics, Inc., which serves 3 million athletes in 180 countries worldwide.

     The Summer Games held this past month at California State University Long Beach showcased more than 5,000 Southern Californians in a myriad of Olympic Events.  On Saturday, June 30th, I was honored to embrace one of those Olympians, Brittany Carlson.  Brittany medaled in 4 events, taking gold in 400 M run and the 4 by 100 relay and silver in the 200 and 1500 M runs. 

     Perfecting a physical skill does many things.  It creates new synapse making the brain more powerful.  It trains muscles to improve the body's ability to function better.  It gives confidence to the individual who has just proven "I can do this!" 

     Judging by the smile on Brittany's face when she displayed her medals, I am certain she had that eureka moment.  I know that placing a Turner pin on her blouse made me happy and once again certain that the Los Angeles Turners motto, A Sound Mind in a Sound Body, does not describe one single perfection, but perfection to the maximum of ones abilities.

    Thanks, Brittany, for giving me that smile.

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