December 30, 2013 | North America: Colorado

Freedom and Strength

By Victoria Smith

When I started playing for the Special Olympics I was unsure of where I was. I wasn't very strong and independent like how I am now. I started playing soccer as just a Friday night activity after school, but in the spring our coach wanted to have a team for the summer state games. We had enough people for two teams. Both of our teams took the podium. My team took gold. The other took silver. I was the rookie and new to the Special Olympics so my whole family was proud of me and I was too. I earned strength through soccer. Then when I started golf I earned freedom in my hips, back and shoulders. Also arm strength. Golf was a great stress reliever for me because of my disability. This was just the last summer when I needed to be busy and I found that if I set my mind to it then I could do anything. I earned physical and mental freedom that I needed to become a stronger individual.

About Victoria Smith: I have a physical disability called TAR syndrome. I wasn't supposed to make it past the age of two. I love to play sports. I think it's sad when people discriminate people with any disability because they are people and they have feelings. Also they may be great people on the inside you just need to get to know them.
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