I got lucky the other weekend. I spent three days in the privileged company of Olympic athletes. Shades of the summer of '84? Not quite. These athletes were 2,500 of California's finest--retarded and handicapped--bent and beautiful and, most of all, filled with an uplifting spirit to rival the thousands of balloons let loose at the opening ceremonies. This was the Special Olympics.
And this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me. Their creed, "Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt," seems like a bold understatement.
I've never been to the Special Olympics before. I've seen it on TV, but this time, I was there at UCLA, with thousands of others--caught in the wonder-of-the-impossible.
Three days of cheering and applauding and hugging and smiling and shaking my head in awe as person after incredibly courageous person threw themselves first into what seemed an impossible task, and then into the outstretched loving arms of dedicated, patient supporters. In awe of these people who sing, "How far is far, how high is high?" My God, my problems pale in their light.