On April 27, more than 700 school-age athletes competed at Prospect High School in various sporting events. Throughout Illinois there were 101 other such events. Nationwide, most states held similar competitions. Worldwide, 170 countries participated. Why wasn't there any mention of these events in the Daily Herald?
Why were there no photographers at Prospect High School catching the athletes as they approached the finish lines? Is it because these athletes have cognitive disabilities? Is it because these events are the Special Olympics?
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Illinois alone has 210,000 athletes who live with intellectual disabilities. Annually, 21,300 of them participate in these athletic competitions. These athletes are the essence of courage and the heart of sportsmanship. Often, the mere act of getting to the competition is an heroic act, both by the athletes and their families. In Illinois, 40,000 volunteers and coaches work together to make this day happen.
The Special Olympics Athlete Oath is: "Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." Who better to receive recognition and coverage than this group of young athletes? All who witness these Special Olympics see sports at its best.
Mary Ann Ogilvie