By William Tauro
This past Thursday, dozens of athletes and fans assembled at Trum Field in Somerville for the 2017 Somerville Special Olympics.
Athletes competed in a series of exercises and games with award events throughout the day.
One of the greatest supporters of the Somerville Special Olympics is the Somerville Police Department, who’s dedicated officers formed a partnership with the Special Olympics as mentors over the years.
Special Olympics transforms lives through the joy of sport, every day, everywhere. We are the world’s largest sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities: with more than 4.7 million athletes in 169 countries — and over a million volunteers.
Through the power of sports, people with intellectual disabilities discover new strengths and abilities, skills and success. Our athletes find joy, confidence and fulfillment — on the playing field and in life. They also inspire people in their communities and elsewhere to open their hearts to a wider world of human talents and potential.
Special Olympics is the leading voice in raising awareness about the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities.
Through sports, we showcase the skills and dignity of our athletes. We also bring together communities to see and take part in the transformative power of sports. We know the odds our athletes must overcome and the barriers they face every single day. We see this at training events and competitions as our athletes push to beat their personal bests — and exceed them.
Sports are a powerful force. Sports can shift the focus from disability to ability, from isolation to involvement. We offer the highest quality Olympic-style sports training and competition for people with intellectual disabilities all around the world. This changes attitudes and changes lives.
The transformative power of sports to instill confidence, improve health and inspire a sense of competition is at the core of what Special Olympics does. From the detailed coaching guides we provide in many languages to the sharp-eyed officials at our international games, the focus is on real sports, real competition, real achievements.
Since 1968, Special Olympics has been spreading the message: people with intellectual disabilities can – and will – succeed when given the opportunity. And it all happens through the simple power of sport. At Special Olympics, we believe that sports can teach us all important lessons. When we train and strive for a goal, it teaches us to dream. When we struggle, it teaches us determination. When we win, we find joy. And if we lose, we can find the strength to try again.
Our sports events bring together a large and inclusive community of athletes, supporters and families, coaches, volunteers and many others. The athletes are at the center of it all — to the shared joy of themselves, their families and their communities.