Have you ever heard about Special Olympic?
Right now, a very special event is being held in Pyeong Chang, Korea, 2013. Everyone would have heard about it, and I, especially heard some details about it because a friend of mine is working as host town program volunteer in Pyeong Chang special olympic.
At first I was not really aware of Special Olympic, actually, I didn’t know any difference between ‘Special Olympic’ and ‘Paralympic’. However, I remembered that every olympic I saw, paralympic was just after the main event. Therefore, I asked my friend what’s the difference. Then, he kindly explained to me the difference.
If paralympic is olympic event for physically handicapped people, special olympic is oylmpic for intellectually handicapped people. I was so ashamed that even though I have seen promotion video clip for Pyeong Chang Special Olympic 2013 every time I get on the bus I didn’t even know the meaning of it. I was such an ignorant person.
The Opening ceremony was held in Pyeong Chang on January 29th, and some athletes enjoyed host town program even before the opening ceremony. On 28th, the athletes from different countries participated in ‘Special hands program’ before the event, and Hungarian athletes experienced ‘Temple Stay’ which is Korea’s own cultural experience program. As well as, Dutch athletes experieced ‘Korail’ tour program and German athletes visited Myeong Dong Cathedral. I believe a variety of ‘Host town programs’ must have made the athletes have so much fun.
What is important about ‘Special Olympic’ is that not only the name is special but its meaning itself is very special. It was held in 1968 for the first time and is being held every 4 year since then. It is one of three official olympic games acknowledged by IOC including Olympic and Paralympic. Since it is a game that puts meaning in challenge and effort rather than winning or losing, every athlete gets a ribbon even though they didn’t get a medal. I thought it is very lovely because I’ve seen many athletes cry because they got silver medal only or they were ranked at 4th place, not getting any medals even though they did their best. In Special Olympic, a sight like that will not be seen anymore.
Many people still have so much prejudice in handicapped people. However, if you see kinds of sports they play, you’ll never have such thing. Total 8 games are held, including Alpine skiing, Cross country skiing, Snowboarding, Snowshoeing, Figure skating, Short track speed skating, floor hockey, floor ball. Who said they can’t? They surely can. I believe figure skaters in special olympics will show a show as beautiful as Kim Yuna’s.
‘Together we can!’ is slogan of Pyeong Chang Winter Special Olympics 2013. If they were alone, they might have not done it. However, there are so many people helping them and the athletes are now the one under the name of Special Olympics! I really appreciate such event like this and so glad that this meaningful event is held in Korea, Pyeong Chang this year.
Right now, not only sports game, but cultural events are also being held in Pyeong Chang Special Olympics! Why don’t you go Pyeong Chang and enjoy this beautiful winter with the world challengers!
If you visit this official websites, you’ll get much information.
This is official youtube page for Special Olympics. Enjoy Yourself!
Kim Yuna, Korea’s sports star introduces Pyeong Chang Special Olympics in this video clip. The video is beautiful you must watch it!