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.
New York State is one of only a handful of states that has not removed the archaic terms "mental retardation" and "mentally retarded" from its laws. ...
Through her tears, she spoke about her son's intellectual disability and explained that her husband will not accept him because of his condition, "because in my country, the belief is that we did something wrong ... our son's condition is a curse."
My experience as a woman in sports and my relationship with Amy have both taught me so much about seeing the value of different, whether or not society is ready to acknowledge or embrace it.
I have been involved in sports, like track, cross-country and soccer for a long time because I enjoy playing them. But when I was growing up, I never felt like part of any team or group. I always felt like a loser, just because I was different.
Differences are what gave me confidence when I had to proudly show her off with a feeding tube, tiny eye contacts, little baby glasses and eye patches.
As a girl who has accomplished things that many didn't think were possible, I know that people can be wrong when they judge someone else just because they are different.
I was a very lucky child because, growing up, we didn't have a pool in our backyard.
Whether you're training for your very first rowing race or the Olympic Games, choosing great nutrition is one of the biggest ways to up your game.
"You can't compete if your feet hurt, if your teeth hurt or if your ears ache."
In honour of this International Women's Day, it seems fitting we turn our attention to our female Olympians, who performed so wonderfully well at Sochi, and made all of us back in Canada exceptionally proud. How well did they do? Very well. If there were an all-female Olympics, Canada would have placed first in the medal count, with six gold, six silver and one bronze.
We marvel at the courage, determination and sportsmanship when so many talented individuals work their hardest and push themselves to do their very best.