Monday, April 30, 2012

Special Olympics

On Wednesday Gess participated in her 3rd Special Olympics. (This was the regional one, not the state wide competition.)  Gess was supposed to be in the tennis ball throw, the standing long jump and the 50 meter dash.  I had asked that she not be in the relay this year because we will have to miss that event during the state wide competition and may not even be able to go at all.  Anyway, there was also some other mix up which meant that Gess didn't make it into the standing long jump.  So Gess only had two competitions the tennis ball throw and her favorite, the 50 meter dash.

I wish I had more pictures but for the last two years I was constantly taking them and this year I wanted to simply enjoy the event.  We started off early in the morning and Gess was excited to get to ride on the big bus.

Once we got there she got her number and was set up for the events.

We had a little time before everything began so we hung out in the bleachers with the team.  Then it was time for the tennis ball throw.  Gess was one of the first groups to go and I was so proud of how far she threw the ball.  See, the weekend before my son and his girlfriend took her to the park, played some basketball with her, and then ended up on a baseball diamond where they began teaching her how to properly throw the ball.  She used to throw it underhanded or would just pitch it at the ground.  After much coaching she learned to throw it pretty far.  We were super excited when they announced that Gess had won the gold medal in that event!  (No, she was not the only one in the competition but I try not to post pictures of other kids on the internet without permission.) 

Gess wanted a gold medal so bad. In fact we have had to get on to her about being a good sport because one time she threw her silver medal on the ground because it wasn't the gold.  I don't know where she gets the competitiveness but she has it bad.  She actually did win a gold one other time but they ran out of them and had to mail it later so this was the first time she actually got to "receive" the gold medal.  I was so glad because now I knew she would be happy the rest of the day! 

Her next event was not until after lunch.  We enjoyed some hot dogs with the team and then decided to go for a walk.  Gess saw some steps at the stadium and started to walk up them.  She kept going up and up and up, even though she is somewhat afraid of heights.  I had her stop and look down a couple of times which she did though you could tell she was nervous about it.  She is really working on overcoming some of her fears.  I am so proud of her.  When we finally made it to the top she sat down and enjoyed the view.  Hopefully this will give her some more positive memories of being up high!

After lunch she had the 50 meter dash.  She was so ready for this. She always says that she is going to "run like the wind."  I think that is because one of the mom's of a friend of hers on the team told her to do that last year.  Now that's the only way she runs, like the wind!  Anyway, it was cute to watch her begin.  She was lined up and ready to run but she had her hands on her ears because she didn't want to hear the gun fire off.  Thankfully the man starting the race realized young ladies were probably sensitive to that and used his hand to start the race rather than a gun.   Then they were off!  I was so happy when Gess finished first!  She certainly did run like wind and because of that she won another gold medal!

Then we hung out and cheered on her team-mates as they ran the relay.  One division got the gold and I believe the other got the silver.  Our team had a really good year.  I think everyone got at least one gold though several got more than one.  Gess has loved telling everyone about her success.  It really is good seeing her compete in an area where she at least has a chance.  She gets so frustrated at times when she runs against kids her age and never seems to win.  That's one thing I love about Special Olympics.  They make it so that everyone gets some recognition and sometimes, they even get the gold. 

1 comment:

Cherie said...

So sweet! What a fantastic organization and way to go Gess! Congratulations!


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