While Sport for All does promote an inclusive message, an important dimension seems to be missing from the Sport for All mission that lies at the core purpose of Olympic Day and Sport for All -- all abilities.
I have been a volunteer tennis coach for the Special Olympics in Mercer County, New Jersey for over 10 years, and I can confidently say that it has been one of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences of my life.
When my son and daughter were both born with Down syndrome, I knew the likelihood of receiving even one college acceptance letter may not be a reality. But the day John received his letter of acceptance from the Special Olympics I experienced the equivalent.
As a parent of a child with an intellectual disability, I have seen so many of my peers go down a road of despair and disappointment as they contemplate the future. The Special Olympics allowed me to choose a path filled with hope and potential.
Through her tears, she spoke about her son's intellectual disability and explained that her husband will not accept him because of his condition, "because in my country, the belief is that we did something wrong ... our son's condition is a curse."
I have been involved in sports, like track, cross-country and soccer for a long time because I enjoy playing them. But when I was growing up, I never felt like part of any team or group. I always felt like a loser, just because I was different.