So let me tell everyone what happened to me last week. On short notice, I was contacted by a third party about covering the Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle. Since I really wasn’t doing anything else, I accepted and went to Husky Stadium (and one day to a swimming pool in Federal Way, WA) to cover the games.
It probably will go down as one of the most significant moments and achievements of my career—and my life.
So what did I do? Well I was tasked with talking with the athletes. This is nothing short of amazing hearing their stories—and everyone I talked to had one. It began with a power lifter, then a dude who was tired of getting bullied, being overweight, and watching his athletic twin sister have friends so he started training hard and now has 103 medals across six different sports (he found out about his 70th gold medal halfway into our interview), to a woman who swings a mean tennis racket and aspires to one day live on her own. I actually lost track of time while watching the flag football games—they had some guys that could play.
My final article was on the actual games, attendance, and where they go next (Abu Dhabi for the world games). One of the things I discovered was how they still are trying to get the word out for coaches. As I was told in a phone conversation with the Seattle branch’s CEO, they get around 250 calls a month from aspiring Special Olympics athletes and have difficulty accommodating them because of their lack of coaches. The State of Washington alone has 18,000 athletes.
So, I’m spreading the word. If anyone here in the community knows a sport and wants to get involved, go here and see what you can do. Special Olympics is all about teaching a passion and getting people young and old involved in sports and competition. Every coach I spoke with said it changed their life.
Obviously, we’re a 49ers site first and foremost. But there are some things more important than football. Plus, it’s the offseason and you don’t need me talking about how optimistic I am for the upteenth week. Considering that last week impacted my life in such a positive way, spreading the word seems like the least I can do.
Ok, that’s all I need to say about the Special Olympics USA Games. Again, if you want to coach a sport and work with some wonderful people, look into it.
And now, here’s your links:
Dolphins see Frank Gore’s age as “irrelevant” (Pro Football Talk)
49ers comprehensive training camp preview: Interior O-Line (Biderman)
Why Jerick McKinnon can live up to his big 49ers contract (Biderman)