In 2018, Special Olympics celebrated its 50th anniversary. As a 40ish someone myself, I have never known a world without Special Olympics. That may sound like a small thing, but the fact is that I am fortunate enough to have lived in a world where people with intellectual disabilities are given opportunities to compete, contribute, and be an active part of their community and their world. That was not always so.
The progress that has been made toward inclusion and acceptance of people of all kinds
all over the world in the past half-century owes a debt to Special Olympics. It’s easy to take for granted now, but the idea was revolutionary at the time and it has transformed society and improved countless individual lives.
That is the power of sports. When lifted to its highest potential, sports are not games and frivolity. Sports are a foundation where people can come together—as teams and in opposition in the spirit of competition. No matter what a person’s background, color, history or ability, during that game, they are defined only by the effort and passion they put forth.
In this issue of Triangle Sports, we were thrilled to profile Special Olympics North Carolina as it looks back on the past 50 years of Special Olympics International. Our local organization has a rich history all its own and an even more exciting present and future.
We are also proud to share some exciting news. Triangle Sports is teaming up with HighSchoolOT.com, an online extension of WRAL that is focused on high school sports in the Triangle. We feel it is an excellent fit with Triangle Sports magazine, and we look forward to working with them in the coming year.
Both organizations share a common mission to elevate sports engagement and participation in the Triangle, as well as to share the stories of excellence, dedication and tenacity that surround us all. Many of you reading this have your own stories or know others that do. Please share those stories with us and we’ll consider including your tales of accomplishment, challenge and perseverance in the pages of a future issue of Triangle Sports!
In sports and in life, it’s the effort and dedication to do our best that defines us more than the wins and the losses. I’ll close with the motto of Special Olympics, which I think rings true for everyone. “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”