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Special Olympics earns gold medal for can-do spirit of inclusion

2015 April 23
by HISD Communications
Whitney, Hamilton MS Special Olympian — and my hero.

Whitney, Hamilton MS Special Olympian — and my hero.

“Special” doesn’t begin to describe the magic of “Special Olympics.” More than 2,500 HISD athletes — from preschoolers through high school — are set to compete in three Field Days, April 29, 30, and May 1 at Barnett Stadium.

This is the purest form of sport, done for the sheer joy of participation and for each athlete’s personal sense of accomplishment. Special Olympics athletes are exceptional in their perseverance and inspirational in their ability to create a spirit of inclusion and acceptance for those with intellectual disabilities, instead of limiting them.

This week, I recorded a video greeting for the HISD games with Whitney, an eighth-grader at Hamilton Middle School, who’s training for soccer and basketball competitions — and getting ready for high school at Reagan next fall. Her exuberance is contagious. She’s my new hero, and I told her so.

Tickets for the HISD Field Days are available, and volunteers are still needed. I’m proud that so many HISD staff members are helping, including entire departments. I was going to make my own pitch, but I can’t possibly be more persuasive than the words of the volunteer oath administered at the opening ceremonies.

I promise to give of the time in my life, so that Special Olympics athletes can have the time of their lives. I promise to support Special Olympics not just as an expression of charity, but as a form of respect for my fellow human beings. I promise to spread the word of volunteerism because in giving, I receive so much more in return.Volunteer Oath

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