Along with never having broadcast a basketball game, I had never been to a Special Olympics before. I'm not sure how I missed the Special Olympics.
No one believes that if the R-word vanished, access to the best health care will suddenly appear and the medical problems faced by people with intellectual disabilities magically fixed, but language affects attitudes, and attitudes affect action.
You are the champion of the underdog. Your voice matters. Your fans and your staff will follow your lead. Lead them to a better place, Howard.
Censorship has no place in democracy, but self-examination does. The larger goal behind "Spread the word to end the word" is not to replace the r-word with another equally stigmatizing phrase, but to increase inclusion for those who may speak, act or move differently.
A lot has been written about how the tragedy will mean the loss of a hero for the sports world and for people with disabilities. But, Pistorius isn't just any old sporting hero.
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?