A Special Olympics Champion

Posted by on Feb 15, 2015 in Frugal For Everyone, Health | 47 comments

Special Olympics One of our sons just returned from North Bay where he competed in the Special Olympics Provincial Championships. This is an amazing event, complete with all the pomp that goes along with any Olympic competition.

The proceedings began at 7 pm. on January 29/15, with the parade of athletes, musical entertainment and the lighting of the cauldron1, which signaled the beginning of the games.

1An impressive and important start to the games is the Law Enforcement Torch Run. The North Bay Police Chief and Officers carried the torch in intervals along the planned route to the site of the opening ceremonies. Once there they passed the torch to a Special Olympics athlete and together ran up to the cauldron to light it.

Special Olympics


Competition in a half dozen sports included Nordic Skiing, Alpine Skiing, Snowshoeing, Curling, Figure Skating and Speed Skating. As you can tell from the picture, our son participated in Nordic Skiing and came home with gold, silver and bronze medals. Pretty Impressive. Of course, this wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work and training put in ahead of time by our son and his Special Olympics coach. They have every reason to be proud of themselves and each other.

Special Olympics

Special Olympics is an outstanding program that started during the Kennedy era in the USA. It has since expanded to more than 4 million Special Olympic athletes in 170 countries around the world. The different Law Enforcement Agencies around the globe are its strongest supporters.

There are a great many benefits for participants in the Special Olympics programs. The physical activity helps keep the rate of cardiovascular disease and obesity down. Through its many sport programs athletes gain self-confidence and social competence. Being active and involved with others means less loneliness which in turn lessens the chance of depression.

eric on skisOur son takes part in a variety of different sports sponsored by his Special Olympics District. Thanks to volunteer leaders and coaches, besides Nordic Skiing, he’s involved with basketball, track and field, curling, and bowling. There are more activities offered, but since he also holds down a full time job he’s not able to participate in all of them.

I know without our local Special Olympics programs and the commitment and time given by the leaders and coaches, our son would not be the confident, outgoing, outstanding person he is. We owe them a great debt of gratitude.

Here’s the link for anyone wanting to read more about the Special Olympics Organization: http://www.specialolympics.org

If you’re interesting in knowing more about local Special Olympic programs, check out this link: http://www.specialolympics.org/program_locator.aspx

Talk to you again next week,



  1. This is so awesome! Tons of congratulations Lenie, to both of you!

  2. Once your baby, always your baby, I say. Bragging is part of the package deal. You should be proud. I know I would be if he was my son.

  3. That is great. Congrats to your son.

  4. Hi Lenie: You must be SO proud of your son! I think Special Olympics is amazing. I have a friend here in MB whose sister won a medal in the Special Olympics for swimming a number of years ago. She was so proud, and so were all os us who knew her.

  5. I love reading this story and Bravo to your son! The Special Olympics are a wonderful thing and I like knowing that your son has participated a number of times and how he benefits from it. Thank you for sharing!

  6. How great to see a post from a proud mother on her son. I’ve often though about volunteering as a helper for the Special Olympics, but then have ended up getting too busy to do so. Your post has reminded me to try again to make time.

  7. Hi Lenie

    Congratulations to you and your son. I am surprised that one can be on a full time job and still participate in sports.

    You lectured me real good on an interesting sporting activity. Thanks for sharing. Cheers

  8. Wow Congratulations to your son Lenie.
    Awww you must be very proud of him.
    Nice one x

  9. Congratulations to your son for a wonderfull achievement. I like the fact that you have shared his success in a none bragging way.

  10. Lenie — wonderful story and the Special Olympics have changed so many people’s lives. They build confidence in themselves because they can excel when competing on a level playing field. It’s obvious you’re very proud of your son as you should be.

  11. What a great story. I wish more people would recognize the athleticism in the Special Olympics. Being a champion means you do train and improve yourself beyond what you are should be capable of doing. By this definition, they all are champions who participate in these games.

    • William – I love your last sentence. Thanks so much for this.

  12. Beautiful story and a wonderful testimonial to Special Olympics, a great program.

  13. Beautiful story Lennie, I am so happy for you and your son, congratulations.

  14. Not enough light is shed on these events so kudos to you for doing just that and don’t think for one second that it is braggy; anything but. A proud Mother and a proud son. Not much better than that.

    • Thanks Tim, Life does have its special moments, doesn’t it? This was definitely one.

  15. Applause to you and to your family. This is an achievement for all while enhancing all our awareness with your experience.

  16. Wonderful images and story Lenie! I’ve volunteered several times for the Special Olympics here in Maui so I know how exciting an event it is and really treasure those memories. Of course since we’re on a tropical island the events are quite different but the emotion and rewards are the same. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Since you have volunteered for the Special Olympics you know how much work goes on behind the athletes. While being proud of our son I did also want to make special mention of that. My son has had some of the same leaders and coaches for the last fifteen years – that’s a real commitment – this just seemed a good time to show appreciation for that.

  17. Lenie, I wish you could see the smile on my face right now. You must be so proud of your son! And I’m so glad that organizations like the Special Olympics exist, and that so many people are willing to volunteer their time to coach and put on these events. Congratulations to your athlete!

    • Hi Meredith – thanks for the congrats – i’ve passed them on and he has been thrilled by the number of well-wishers. It is wonderful that we have an organization like Special Olympics and seeing they have more than 4 million athletes signed up, there are a lot of people who share that view.

  18. Lenie, the Speical Olympics is a terrific event. There is a lot of talk here in Boston, MA U.S. about us bidding for the 2024 Olympics. What no one mentions is that traditionally 2 weeks after the Olympics, the Special Olympics are held in the same venues. I can’t wait for both. Thanks for sharing and congratulate your son or his hard fought medals.

    • I have congratulated my son for you. It would really be something if Boston was able to host the Special Olympics on 2024. It’s unfortunate they don’t receive the same hoopla and support as the other Olympics – to my thinking the Special Olympic athletes work even harder for their medals and should receive the same kind of recognition.

  19. Wow, that is amazing. I am happy for you, your son and family. The hard work counts. I was wondering though, how he did a lot with full time job. I was also thinking that there must be some interference from government in such events. If someone is taking part or qualifying in such events, they must be given off from work during the event.

    I think all such hard working athletes, deserve this.
    All the best to him.

  20. What a happy story Lenie. If a Mum can’t brag about her kids – well…
    Your son coping with all these sporting interests and his work too, backs up what I’ve always believed. ‘Special’ people are given amazingly compensating abilities, skills and wonderful personality traits that bring them to a place where they can triumph over all obstacles.
    And maybe a large part of that ‘special’ starts from some incredibly loving parents?

    • Hi Christine, our son really is a hard worker and when he takes on anything he performs to the best of his ability, whether that is sports or work. Right now he’s working very hard on learning to read with the help of a computer program. I know he’ll succeed because he just won’t give up.

  21. Your blog post is a testimony to your son’s spirit and tenacity. I learned something new from your post-Lenie. I never thought about the health benefits for the special needs population.Now that I realize one of the outcomes of competing is, participants improved health I bet there are psychological and emotional benefits as well,

  22. Congratulations to your son. I have on a couple of occasions met other Special Olympians and completely agree with you on the value of participating in these programs.

  23. Not bragging at all, I’d do the same thing. Congratulations with your fabulous son.

  24. You should be proud of him. He sounds like an accomplished athlete and I think the Special Olympics are wonderful. As you say they provide those involved with them huge health benefits as well as preventing depression and helping him to become more outgoing.

  25. Wonderful, Lenie–your son and all you’ve shared about Special Olympics! Heart-warming, thank you. And congrats to your son and to you and the rest of your family too.

  26. Wow – good on your son! You must be proud.
    I feel inspired by your post.

    • Hi Phoenicia, we are very proud. It took a lot of hard work to get to that stage buy he was up for it.

  27. What a wonderful post about your son, Lenie, and the Special Olympics. You must be so proud of him, as u well should be!

    • Susan, we are very proud of him. He is simply a very good person and I love him to bits.

  28. Congrats to your son Lenie! What an amazing accomplishment. The Special Olympics is so important and this story really illuminates the many ways that participation can positively influence an athlete’s life. Thank you for sharing this very inspiring story.

    • Thanks for the congratulations Erica. I will let him know tomorrow when I see him. As far as your comments re Special Olympics, I agree with every word. I am sure that the program has helped numerous participants prevent physical health problems and serious depression.

  29. What wonderful events! This is such a fine program and it is amazing how many people dedicate time to helping these athletes achieve the success that they deserve! Good for your son and his hard work that allowed him to succeed.

    • Hi Beth, thanks for the comment. You are right about the time and energy and plain hard work put into the Special Olympics program at all levels. I have nothing but admiration for the athletes, the coaches, leaders, organizers and of course, we shouldn’t forget the financial supporters. Everyone of them is important.

  30. Wow Lenie! This is awesome. In my view, it’s a proud mama who has earned those bragging rights. My philosophy is sometimes you have to toot your own horn so to speak because who else will? Bravo for you and the Special Olympics leaders and coaches cheering on your son, and cheers to your son for all his wins. Lovely story.

    • Hi Pat – Thanks for the comment. You should have seen him when I told him I was going to write a post about his participation and his wins. He was thrilled. People like him work so hard to accomplish things we take for granted that they really do need and deserve that extra pat on the back. This is one young man who constantly lives up to his potential and more.

  31. Congratulations to your son for such a fine accomplishment! Also, very nice of you Lenie to pay tribute to the people putting in hard work behind the scenes at the event.

    • Hi Christy, as proud as we are of our son we do know that his accomplishments really are possible because of the hard work by the coaches, leaders and Special Olympics organizers. I am constantly and pleasantly surprised at the commitment by the local leaders. The same ones carry on for years and they can’t always feel like giving up a night or a weekend to help, but they do. Amazing people.

  32. Lenie, I’m delighted for you and your son. What a wonderful story.

    • Thanks Catarina. He is coming home for the day tomorrow and I’ll read the post and the comments to him. He’ll be thrilled.

  33. This is wonderful! NOT braggy at all!!! In fact, I love that you are bringing attention to this…it has made such a difference in so many people’s lives. But I am amazed, holding down a full time job, that he is able to participate in so many sports and events. Applause!!!!

    • Jacquie, he really deserves the applause. Not only does he do all that, he comes home once a month solely for the purpose of helping my husband and myself do all the things that are too hard for us – we are pretty lucky.

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