Special Olympics (Olympics for intellectually disabled or in crude terms, mentally challenged) has always left me humbled and makes me feel like a rotten tomato. I personally know some of the people involved in coaching and wishing the life of the intellectually adults/children are better through these games.
But why these games do not engage crowds is something I am still unsure of. Last year, for the opening ceremony of one of the Camps, my friend and I were invited.
It was surprising to see it was so well organized in the Gachibowli Stadium, Hyderabad. However, the crowd that attended was mostly the athletes and their families.
As author Biswanath Ghosh would say, they were “shamelessly humble.” I am sure like in any organization, the Special Olympics would have their own internal politics etc but then the athletes have always remained their priority.
And that is why I surmise, at the Winter Games and the Summer Games, the numbers talk.
Here’s a medal tally of the Special Olympics held last year [click on the picture for a better view] (249 medals):
Apart from the hard work and determination of the players, the coaches, the committee, the preparation and the camps that are meticulously organized deserve a huge round of applause. Please check this map (from one of the reports):
And, as the Special Olympics motto goes: Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.
And, I still wonder why aren't they pampered as much. Perhaps in India, the sport is still not acceptable like them.