Special Olympics Georgia is showcasing talent and heart this weekend in Atlanta, with the 2017 State Indoor Winter Games & Southeast Powerlifting, and there you will find champions.
The city of Atlanta, and the state of Georgia, has much going on these days in the world of sports and athletics. New state-of-the-art stadiums are being constructed for the Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Falcons. Those aforementioned Braves are a few weeks away from first pitch. Those aforementioned Falcons are hosting, arguably, the biggest game in franchise history, when one contemplates the long term implications of what winning on Sunday would mean for team, owner and fans. The Atlanta Hawks are in playoff contention, and the new MLS team, Atlanta United FC, is set to launch in a few short days. But none of this compares to what will happen this weekend in , and around, the Atlanta area.
Special Olympics Georgia 2017 State Indoor Winter Games & Southeast Powerlifting is set for opening ceremonies Friday, January 20, 2017, 7:30 PM, at the Cobb Civic Center, and what will be on display will fill the heart and capture the imagination. This event highlights 2,800 athletes, coaches, and unified partners. 1,500 volunteers will give their time and attention to competition and security, and approximately, 400 family members will be on hand to cheer, laugh, support, and congratulate. it will be the embodiment of teamwork and family.
The stated mission of Special Olympics Georgia is:
"“To provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympics-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in in the sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community”."
Courage, joy, sharing gifts, and friendship…we could all use more of that, in this writer’s opinion.
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Laid bare in that mission statement, though, is something that gets to the heart of what will happen at this event. When we think of sports and competition…the thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat…there is an undercurrent of togetherness. There is a shade of shared accomplishment and endeavor. Sport has helped to change and reverse currents and stigmas of racism and other social blemishes before, and continues to do so. Much like music, sport and competition remind us that it isn’t what makes us different that is unique, but what we are made of underneath, and how similar we, in fact are, that makes us unique and special.
The coming competition in Basketball, Bowling, Floor Hockey, Gymnastics (artistic), and Powerlifting will serve as a reflection that we all strive for the same thing…acknowledgement, success, community, and friendship. We attain these things through hard work, dedication, trust in training, and accepting the love and support of family and friends. These are the things that fuel the fire for getting better and accomplishment. These are the qualities that make up the DNA of a champion. If you want to watch these qualities fleshed out, join these folks this weekend. You will see these qualities displayed in spades…and in their hearts.For schedule and details, follow this link.