To this point of my college career, the experiences I have had with Special Olympics at CMU have meant the most to me. I would not trade them for the world. SO College is one of the RSOs I have been apart of at Central my Sophomore year. I started getting involved with similar activities in high school through Victory Day. At Victory Day, Varsity Football players each got assigned an individual with intelectual dissibilities to be our partner for the day. We got to run drills with them and let them run in a touchdown on the field. It was one of my best moments in high school and pushed me towards Special Olympics in college.
I have been able to do a lot with the SO College this year. One of my favorite parts is participating in Unified Sports. We basically go through every sport, competing on teams that combine CMU students and Special Olympic athletes. This year I was able to participate in Football, Basketball, and hopefully kickball at the end of the year. Being around these athletes is one of my passions in life. I love to interact with every single one of them. Competing with the athletes has brought about a lot of joy and lasting memories. My favorite memory was playing a basketball game on McGuirk arena and bringing home the W. By simply playing a sport, I have made connections that I may normally not have had or expected. It truly brings joy to my heart. Another fun experience was getting to volunteer at the opening of Texas Roadhouse where we were able to spread awareness for Special Olympics. There are so many great things I have been able to do this year through Special Olympics and I am excited to continue participating next year.
My Unified Basketball Team
I am blessed that a couple of my friends share the same passion as me for Special Olympics. Being able to do these things with your friends make it even better. I will always enjoy this type of experience, and I hope to continue being involved in some way or another throughout my life. I have had a great experience with Special Olympics at Central Michigan University this year.
This year I have been very involved with Special Olympics at CMU. One of the opportunities that CMU provides is the ability to attend the Winter Olympics. Every year over 100 CMU students sign up and volunteer over a weekend in January/February. We all sign up for certain jobs that we will do over that weekend. I was able to work on the ski hills where I would flag down if any of the athletes did not go through any of the gates. It was awesome to watch how awesome the athletes enjoyed being out on the hills and how talented they were in participating in the different Solemn events. I could tell they had worked very hard to be so skillful and had a passion for what they were doing.
During the nights once we returned from the outdoor events, students and athletes all joined together to have an opening ceremony. We all formed lanes for all of the athletes and their families to run through while we obnoxiously cheered them on. Watching all of their faces light up gave me a lot of joy. After all of the festivities, we were able to get together with all of the other volunteers and share our memories and hangout. On the last day of the competitions, all of the medal placing athletes were awarded their various medals. Then once we finished up and returned to the hotel, we had a closing ceremony. This time we created lanes again, but had bubbles and even more cheering and high-fives as the athletes ran through the lines showing pride with their medals around their neck. The amount of joy on each athletes face was amazing, especially the ones that continuously went back in line to run through the lanes again. There was also a motivational speaker that had once been injured in the army, and then went on to be a professional lifter despite losing a leg. To end it off, we all had a large dance party filled with smiles
and pure joy. It was truly an amazing experience and I can not wait to go again next year.
Chase and I volunteering on the ski hills!
This was just one of my volunteer experiences this year, but it was definitely one of my favorites. It is so important to give back to the community and those that are less fortunate. If you are able to find something that you are passionate about it will be that much easier to go out and volunteer. That is exactly what I am doing with Special Olympics. I am excited to continue volunteering through Special Olympics and taking advantage of all of these amazing opportunities I am blessed with.