Happy Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day 2016!

“Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

– Special Olympics Athlete Oath

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Eunice Kennedy Shriver wrote this down on the morning of July 20, 1968, the day of the first Special Olympics International Games. She spoke the oath at the Opening Ceremony, and ever since, Special Olympic athletes have been pledging it at every Special Olympic competition.

Today is the seventh annual Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day! We celebrate this every year to honor Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the founder of Special Olympics. She changed the lives of athletes with intellectual disabilities by providing them with a way to train and compete in sports, and she changed the lives of everyone in the world by creating a way for inclusion.

She was a hero in changing the world, and every day, Special Olympics continues on her heroic legacy. By reciting the Athlete Oath 48 years ago, Eunice Kennedy Shriver started a movement toward inclusion, and all of the 4.7 million current Special Olympics athletes and 1 million coaches and volunteers have continued her effort to create a world that celebrates people’s abilities instead of disabilities. Thank you, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, for giving the world Special Olympics. ❤

Click on the images below to make them bigger and celebrate EKS Day and Special Olympics with me! 🙂

The Women’s National Team in New York City!

One week ago today, I was reminded of why New York City is the best place to live when the Women’s National Soccer Team came!

It was the first ever Ticker Tape parade for a women’s sports team, and it was definite progress for women to finally be recognized as equal to men in sports. The Women’s National Team was incredible in the final of the World Cup, and New York City (and the world!) recognized it. It was a historical moment, and I was so lucky that my school (and where I work in the summer) is right across the street from the ending point of the parade! Although I wasn’t able to watch the parade, I could still watch the speeches at the end. Here’s a video of the parade my supervisor at Special Olympics New York took.


The area was the most crowded I have ever seen it with so many fans were swarming everywhere. People must have gotten there around 6 in the morning. Thankfully, I was able to see it from the sixth floor of my school, so I could arrive by 9 and still do my job.

Throughout the day, I checked outside every half hour to see if the team was there yet. This was my first Ticker Tape parade, and I was so excited! It was so cool to watch people in office buildings throw paper out the window. It felt a little bit like the world had gone mad, but I liked it all the same.

Finally, the soccer team arrived and sat on the stage right in front of City Hall.

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Here’s a photo of them sitting on the stage.

Robin Roberts, Abby Wambach, and Mayor De Blasio spoke, and after each one, I could hear everyone’s cheers through the windows. The fan support was amazing. I hope that each soccer player knows how proud the fans of Team USA are of them.

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Here are Robin Roberts and Abby Wambach on the big screen.

At the end, everyone celebrated with confetti! The wind was perfect last Friday and blew the confetti toward the Brooklyn Bridge. It blew around the windows and followed me as I walked back to the elevator. It was a perfect end to a perfect celebration. Here’s a video of the confetti.

 

The 2016 Olympics

After watching the 2012 London Olympics, I promised myself that I would be at the next Summer Games. Last December, I applied to volunteer at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I am anxiously waiting to hear back about volunteering, but in the meantime, I bought four tickets to the Olympics! Just in case I am not selected to volunteer, I’m still going!

I’m so excited that I am actually able to do what I promised! I am ready to see what I have dreamed about for so long. There are a few problems such as cost and place to stay, but those can be addressed closer to the Games. The important thing is that I’m going to the Olympics!

Here are the events I’m going to see:

– Soccer (AKA Football), 8/3/2016

– Archery, 8/6/2016

– Handball, 8/15/2016

– Diving, 8/20/2016

I’m most excited about diving because I will be able to watch Tom Daley, the diver who inspired me to start diving, compete! I have less experience with the other three events, but I know they will be so cool to watch! After two ticket raffles and then some, I am ready to go to the Olympics (and of course I’ll blog the whole time I’m there)!

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