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September 13, 2012 | North America: Virginia

Parents In The Stands

By Nancy Julia

Puerto Rico parents and friends

Parents and friends in the stands are comparing seed times, waving their countries' flags and discussing their athletes' chances of winning, just like at the real Olympics. Ooops. We ARE the real Olympics! One of the neatest things at a Special Olympics event is to hear the fans cheering for the winner and just as loud for the swimmer who finished in last place 17 minutes after the winner. And then for coaches of the winning athlete coming up to you to tell you how proud they were that your athlete completed the race. After my athlete completed his 800 meter race but was disqualified for not touching the wall on several occasions, two volunteers came up and presented him with a local award. They recognized the effort he had put into it and wanted him to know that his event.

About Nancy Julia: I have been a coach in Special Olympics Virginia in Northern Virginia for AGES.

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