Sunday, February 15, 2009

Special Olympics, last post

I've put up a few short videos of the McCall Special Olympics venue, as you can see below. It was pretty fun to attend, and part of the point was to have fun. I wasn't sure what to expect before I got there, as I don't know many disabled people. Just one, actually, and her disability is that she can't walk. I don't know anyone with a mental disability.

Here's my main take away. I saw a tall Canadian competitor race in the 400 M race, and in a relay race, and man could that guy run. His time, in snowshoes on snow, was the equivalent of running a 6 minute mile. Big long stride, arms pumping, throwing up a rooster tail of snow about 12 feet high behind him. Very impressive. I later saw him after he received his medal, and I became aware of his disability, sort of. He was making odd facial expressions, looked down at the ground and rolled his eyes, and he was curling and writhing his fingers.

So, which impression defines him? The mentally challenged impression, or the gifted athlete impression? I think that both define a part of him, but neither defines him entirely. Of course.

These volunteers greeted the competitors as they crossed the finish line.

Clip of the 400 meter race.

In this clip, I stood in one spot and filmed a full circle. This one probably gives the best idea of the layout. It was filmed before the competitors arrived for the day.

This clip shows the half way point of the 800 M race.


ericn1300 said...

Great vids, and nice postings. Thanks for your service. I wasn't able to help out but I was a volunteer at local events too many years ago now. Back then we were known as “huggers” rather than the more politically correct term “greeters”.

But I followed the events in the news and I'm catching up on the times. Today my 16 year old daughter, who works with special needs kids as a teacher aide, went off on me in a hormonal driven frenzy and called me a “retard”. When I retorted that “retard” was no longer politically correct she walked off in a huff. Seems being right doesn't pull much weight with women of any age.

Alan said...

Yeah, we've lost another word to PC. I can see how a word used in a hateful manner hurts, and is disfavored. However, I don't like that we are losing descriptive words.

"Mentally retarded" is accurately descriptive, but is hurtful. "Queer" used to be hurtful to gays, and became non-PC until gays embraced the word and brought it back.

The whole point of the NAACP, C standing for Colored, is to promote the interests of minorities, particular African- Americans. So it amuses me that Colored was chosen, but now it's non-PC. So we absurdly say "people of color," which is fine, but we can't say "colored people."

And as to your last point, I totally agree.

Mallory said...

Hi there! I was just searching blogs for Special Olympics and found you through that. My sister has Down Syndrome and has participated ever since I can remember. Just thought since you're someone with an interest as well, I'd ask if you'd be interested in making a pledge for me in the Polar Plunge? It's a fundraiser for the Special Olympics, and I'm trying to raise as much as possible. If you'd like to, just go to and you can make it online. If not, no big deal. Just thought I'd ask! :)