Special Olympics first started off as a day camp in Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s backyard in the 1950s. Her vision was to give people with disabilities exciting opportunities to interact and compete with friends.
Her day camp grew as more people shared her vision, and it became known as the Special Olympics. It has been a well-known and respected organization ever since.
The Special Olympics has given kids an opportunity to be competitive and have fun, just like Kennedy students Harrison Smith, sr., and Aaron Steinke, sr., were able to experience.
Last Friday, Smith and Steinke were sent off to state for the Special Olympics. They traveled to Ames, Iowa and competed in track and field events. They had a great time and returned with a victory.
Smith ran in the 50-meter dash and placed first. He received a gold metal for his win and Steinke got fifth place in the 50-meter dash and seventh place in the softball throw.
Smith’s favorite part of his experience at state was, “Crossing the finish line.”
He was recognized on the news for his accomplishment and was interviewed about his race.
“I talked about my running and I said that I was going to celebrate with pop,” Smith said.
Special Olympics has given Smith and Steinke the opportunity to meet new people and get to know their opponents.
Smith and Steinke, along with many other Kennedy students, represent the pride and determination that comes with being a Cougar.