The truth is, I wish I could just follow you around with an embarrassing mom bag of sunglasses and earplugs and sensory toys but you don't want those things anymore. You want to brave it on your own and I am so proud of you for that.
Collectively, we must focus our efforts on working with this vulnerable yet powerful group of people.
By celebrating the Special Olympics we are celebrating the beauty that is in everyone, not the random standard that society is selling us to make us feel safe. We are asked to take a chance and see the amazing accomplishments of each individual.
The Special Olympics is all about inclusion and acceptance, and these qualities are in Los Angeles' DNA. As one of the most diverse cities in the world, Los Angeles is a natural for hosting the Special Olympics World Summer Games in 2015.
I have carried, just as carefully as any gold medal, the gift that Special Olympics has given to our family. A perfectly built place where my daughter will always belong, where she will win far more often than lose, because everyone has told her she can.
Olympic athletes train their entire lives. They devote every spare moment to their sport. For the Special Olympic athlete, we think it's fair to say that nothing comes easily. Just living in a typical world is an Olympic feat.
What can we believe about sports, and the people who play them? You won't find the answer on your local sports news, on ESPN, or in Sports Illustrated. No, to truly understand the power and beauty of sports, you'd have to be in Seoul, South Korea.
I hope that all Americans will take some time over the course of these Games to reflect on the value and contributions of people with disabilities, and how we can all take part in promoting the full inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in our communities.
In the global Special Olympics family, we too are seeing the emergence of dynamic leaders who are all Special Olympics athletes. We think of them as leaders of a dignity revolution.Their goal is simple: advocate for full dignity and opportunity.
From WJZ-TV in Baltimore where she became fast friends with work colleague Oprah Winfrey to the CBS Morning News to anchoring, producing and reporting for NBC News, Maria proved herself again and again as someone who works hard and with a conscience. And why not?
It seems like a nice problem to have; a gifted child with a seemingly promising future. But when -- and how much -- should a parent get involved? And when should they get out of the way?
Certain people have such boundless inner energy that it seems the whole global deficit might be solved, if only we could tap into their power reserves. Sylvie Fréchette is one of those people. It's not hard to see how this vivacious Québécoise helped Canada bring home the Olympic gold for solo synchronized swimming. We managed to pin down the bubbly Fréchette just long enough for a quick chat in Montreal.
The truth is that you don't need to have won anything to start doing something today. Define your goals, rely on a network of people to help you achieve them and turn your weaknesses into your strengths.
I'm a 30 year old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the public's perception that an intellectual disability means that I am dumb and shallow. I am not either of those things, but I do process information more slowly than the rest of you. In fact it has taken me all day to figure out how to respond to your use of the R-word last night.
We cannot count on an athlete being able to confront this powerful person or to even speak to his or her parents about a coach's behavior when they are fearful of the parent not believing them or the coach withdrawing playing time, affection or instruction.
What could be more meaningful to run towards -- to run for -- than joining together in victory? Give your best when you compete, but remember that together we all win. That's courage.