Saturday, January 9, 2010

*Special Olympics Winter Games, Banquet, and Dance*

"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."
         -Special Olympics Oath

If you are a fan of inspiration, a fan of courage, a fan of competition, and a fan of fun, then you would be a HUGE FAN of the wonderful program going on at the Special Olympics of Oklahoma. 

Did you know that there are more than 9,500 fantastic special Olympics athletes right here, in Oklahoma?  Kandis Holt, Miss Oklahoma Teen USA 2010 and myself, were invited as special guests to the 2010 Winter Games Banquet.  At the banquet, we had the privilege of meeting many of these wonderful people!  The Special Olympic WINTER GAMES were held January 8-9 in Norman, Edmond, Moore, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Special Olympics was founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver. The first International Special Olympics Games were held in 1968 at Soldier Field in Chicago. Today, there are programs in all 50 states and over 3.1 million participants in 227 Programs from 175 countries. ~ Wow!!!  Special Olympics, Inc. is a non-profit international organization located in the heart of Washington, DC.

The state of Oklahoma's first Special Olympics event was an athletics competition at the University of Tulsa in 1969. In 1972, Special Olympics Oklahoma was incorporated as a non-profit organization. It is governed by a state-wide Board of Directors in hopes of benefiting citizens with intellectual disabilities.

(Above is a picture of the queens with the "Polar Plunge" bear.  A Polar Plunge is a fundraising challenge made to an individual or group challenging them to dive into a cold body of water in order to raise money for Special Olympics.)

During the past few weeks, my family has been going through a lot of personal hardships.  The Special Olympics Banquet was exactly what I needed to lift my spirits and relieve some stress!  The athletes are truly an inspiration. Their care-free, fun loving, and joyful attitudes warmed my heart instantly.  I was deeply moved, enlightened and encouraged to have that same mentality in my own life. Thank you Special Olympics, and thank you athletes, for your gentle, affectionate souls!

THE MISSION of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

THE GOAL of Special Olympics is for all persons with intellectual disabilities to have the opportunity to become useful and productive citizens who are accepted and respected by their families, friends and in their communities.

Above are pictures of Kandis and I signing autographs for the athletes.  We have not taken our "official head shots" yet, so we had to make due with what we had.  I printed off a little over one hundred pictures from Walgreens to hand out, but unfortunately, I ran out in minutes!! :(

Doing the Chicken Dance! ~ "Dunna nunna nunna nuh, Dunna nunna nunna nuh, dunt dunt dunt dunt... clap, clap, clap!" ;)

On the train!! ;)

Dancing away!!! (He was showin' me how it's done) ;)

This is a sentimental picture for me.  My sweet, Nick. :) ...I vividly remember Nick from four years ago, when I was Miss Oklahoma Teen USA.  He is the most precious, gentle, warm-hearted young man.  Thank you, Nick, for all of the endearing kisses on the cheek. It was a blessing to reunite. :)

After being crowned  Miss Oklahoma Teen USA a few years ago, I was blessed to receive an invitation to the 2006 Winter Games Banquet.  Being reinvited as Miss Oklahoma USA 2010, and participating in the event once again, was a sincere pleasure.  It was a really neat experience to be back at the Moore Community Center.  There, I hold wonderful memories as a teen, and this weekend, I was blessed to add even more to my memory bank! It was especially neat to even see many of the same faces. :)

I know I can speak for Kandis as well in saying that we had a fantastic time together at the Special Olympics.  It was our first appearance together of the year! :) We were elated to accept the invitation to the Winter Games Opening Ceremonies and Dance. Thank you Special Olympics Oklahoma!!!

"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."
        -Special Olympics Oath

All my very best,
Morgan E. Woolard

1 comment:

  1. I loved the photos, this very beautiful in them. All Good for you, kisses!