Those with intellectual and developmental disabilities number in the hundreds of millions, yet they too often live in the shadows of society. Subject to stigma, prejudice, shame, and abuse, they are often denied access to food, school, health care, and social integration.
It would be unfair for the world to judge the artistic merit of the ceremony on the basis of this one technical fault, as the rest of the staging was flawless. Art may deserve a bit more flexibility in terms of how we evaluate success, compared to sport, where only perfection matters.
How many rejection letters can one person take? They are our version of the torn Achilles before the big game, the participation medals and last place finishes. But still, like that flying tomato boy, we go on.
I am convening the African Leaders Forum on Disability in partnership with Special Olympics so that a marginalized population long unrecognized does not remain in the shadows. I consider this a critical, moral and practical challenge.
When they win, we win. When they struggle, we struggle. From the comfort of our homes, we get to see the best of being human. They remind us of who we are and who we hope to be. For a moment, we get to share their journey and their victory.
Some athletes even take their hard won notoriety and maybe those endorsements they worked so hard to get, and they go on to start or support charities to help others better their lives.
I have struggled with Own the Podium since it was first introduced. Nobody wants our athletes to succeed more than I do. But I would caution that the single-minded pursuit of medals is a recipe for ultimate failure. Why? Because the goal is both artificial and superficial.
I hate to break it to you, Vlad. You've made a poor choice of venue for this one. Cause the Olympics are really, really gay. I'm not talking figure skating, or the two-man luge. I'm talking about the great Olympics of the ancient Greeks.
As top notch athletes give it their all and compete for the chance of a lifetime, it's practically impossible not to be motivated as we cheer them on. So channel that feeling and go for the gold with these Olympian-inspired workout moves that will sculpt your legs, abs, arms and shoulders.
Michelle talks about her off-ice role for the 2014 Winter Olympics -- working for Fox Sports as a sports analyst in Sochi, Russia.
In almost every school and neighborhood, age-old discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities remains.
The vast majority face a life of prejudice and discrimination, loneliness and limitation. Our number one challenge in Special Olympics is to end that.
When you see a tiny premature baby weighing less than two pounds hooked up to tubes and wires, not having had the opportunity to feel the loving embrace from their parents, and then you watch them progressively get better until they're standing right in front of you as a healthy seven-year-old child, to me, this is why we are here.
"But when I do triathlons, it is not about hearing; it is about going. Losing my hearing has given me a positive outlook on life because I learned you can take something so negative and allow positive things to come from it."
Many of us have, or will, arrive at a juncture in life where we'll stop, think twice and poke a hole in a goal or dream based on our age. We'll say the five dreaded words: "I'm too old for that."
Special Olympics does not exist to provide a service or to help a single subsection of the population. It is an organization that functions at full strength when communities are working together.