The “special” in Special Olympics

Up until this past week, I’ve always thought that the “special” in Special Olympics referred to the fact that all of the athletes competing had special needs.  What I recently discovered, is that “special” describes everything about the Special Olympics.

Special are the volunteers who coordinate the details, motivate the athletes and make the experience memorable.

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 Special is the community that comes together to show support and celebrate the human spirit.

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Special are the teachers that encourage their students to be the best they can be.

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Special are the family & friends who come to cheer from the sidelines.

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 Special are the emotions a parent feels as they watch their child overcome obstacles.

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Special are the teammates who realize that winning doesn’t have anything to do with coming in first place.

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And special are the athletes who are always brave in the attempt.

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Beau’s “Bodyguard”

ImageWhen Deputy Dixon took his oath of office to protect and serve the citizens of New Hanover County, I’m fairly certain he had no idea his charge would lead him to a special education class, where he would do much more than protect and serve . . . he would demonstrate the unconditional acceptance of children who sometimes struggle to find friendship.

At first glance, Deputy Dixon might seem a bit daunting.  Standing over 6 feet tall and dressed in his uniform, many children might be intimidated by his presence.  But for Beau and his buddies, Deputy Dixon is a super hero disguised in a deputy costume.  With a smile that disarms and a heart that seems to know no bounds, Deputy Dixon has become a very special part of Beau’s class and his life. 

Time and time again, I have witnessed Deputy Dixon go above and beyond the call of duty to make the students not only feel safe, but loved.  He’s patient and kind and always seems to find a way to bring out the best in everyone – especially Beau.  When asked who his best friends at school are, Beau leads off the list with Deputy Dixon’s name.  Whether sharing a meal together in the cafeteria or a conversation in the classroom, Beau and Deputy Dixon are true friends.  And when I drop off my favorite little guy at school in the morning, I feel a little better knowing Deputy Dixon is looking out for him. 

“Be the One” music video released

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We are excited to share with you today, our new song and music video called “Be the One”, starring Lauren Potter.  Our inspiration for the project came from our involvement with Best Buddies.  Our goal was to create a call to action for people everywhere to embrace our differences and celebrate the meaningful relationships that occur when we live this way.   As the proud parents of four children — two with Down syndrome — we are determined to continue spreading a message of acceptance and inclusion.
The song will also be available on iTunes, where 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Best Buddies International.
Here is the link to the video:
Enjoy!