In this world we live in, it is hard for some people to play sports. But even people with disabilities have done it and it’s good to teach that lesson to everyone. From my experience with working with some special needs students, I learned that they too can play sports. That made me wonder, what sports programs does Colorado have to offer for people with disabilities? I found two very unique programs, the Special Olympics and the Paralympics.
Colorado has an organization called SOCO, or Special Olympics Colorado. A lot of people ask “what is the Special Olympics and what sports are in it?“ The Special Olympics are for the intellectually disabled. The Special Olympics consist of alpine skiing, aquatics, track, field, badminton, basketball, bocce, bowling, and cross-country skiing. The Special Olympics have been around since 1968, that’s 52 years!! Activist Maria Shriver once said “Part of what Special Olympics is trying to do is break down stereotypes that still exist for people. There is still a lot of fear and misunderstanding.” The Special Olympics give people with disabilities a chance to play sports.
What is the difference between the Special Olympics and the Paralympics? Special Olympics is for the intellectually disabled while the Paralympics are for the physically disabled. The sports included in the Paralympics are archery, badminton, boccia, canoeing, cycling, equestrian, and football 5-a-side. The Paralympics have been around since 1948, even before the Special Olympics. Athlete Heather Mills once said “having loved sports my whole life, competing
in a Paralympics would be a dream come true.” Everybody deserves to have a chance to play sports. I’m very glad the Special Olympics and the Paralympics exist. Team GB athlete, Richard Whitehead said “When you fail, you learn a lot about yourself and come back stronger. Life need not have limits. Having an opportunity in life is important but what defines you is what you do with that opportunity.” I’m glad that all people who want to can compete in sports.