I can honestly say Mitch is one of the closest friends I have ever had, but Mitch is not my "friend with an intellectual disability," he's just my friend.
The teasing from his teammates started slowly, but then one day some boys on his team pants'd him by pulling down Ben's pants on the playing field, in front of the whole team.
Scotland Yard has opened an investigation into allegations that Prince Nasser bin Hamad al-Khalifa, the commander of Bahrain's armed forces, was involved in the torture of political detainees. The investigation could prove to be embarrassing for the president of the AFC and a relative of the prince, Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa.
Taken at face value, a rare acknowledgment by International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach that sports and politics are inextricably intertwined should be a first step towards radical reform that offers a proper structure to govern the relationship.
While I am thankful my family and I were able to successfully navigate the transition into adulthood after high school graduation, it wasn't without its challenges.
Imagine now, if you will, a world where people with intellectual disabilities lead the way, teaching us all that winning is often just about playing and that a smile and a hug never lose.
In an ideal world, Australia's famed swimming star Ian Thorpe should be known for one thing: dominating the sport of swimming. But of course, we don't live in an ideal world, and ever since Thorpe entered the limelight more than 15 years ago, rumors about his sexuality have swirled in the media and in the public forum.
My mom would always say there's a simple fix for making someone feel included and showing respect -- it's as easy as using a different word.
The 2014 Special Olympics USA National Games have just concluded and I applaud all of the event organizers, volunteers, supporters, and especially the athletes, for making this an amazing event.
While Sport for All does promote an inclusive message, an important dimension seems to be missing from the Sport for All mission that lies at the core purpose of Olympic Day and Sport for All -- all abilities.
Special Olympics is the quintessential social justice movement. There was a problem -- people with intellectual disabilities were marginalized and treated unfairly -- and now there is a solution.
I have been a volunteer tennis coach for the Special Olympics in Mercer County, New Jersey for over 10 years, and I can confidently say that it has been one of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences of my life.
Many years later, as we are about to go on our second trip to the Special Olympics USA Games, my teammates truly understand the game of soccer.
We often use the word unique to describe something special; something that is without equal. But why is it when we use the term "unique" to describe a person, the connotation is often negative?
When my son and daughter were both born with Down syndrome, I knew the likelihood of receiving even one college acceptance letter may not be a reality. But the day John received his letter of acceptance from the Special Olympics I experienced the equivalent.
As a parent of a child with an intellectual disability, I have seen so many of my peers go down a road of despair and disappointment as they contemplate the future. The Special Olympics allowed me to choose a path filled with hope and potential.