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Special Olympic World Games Day 4 update

Another great day for capturing stories. While we upload, here’s a teaser list to bring you back to the site.

Michelle Kwan, former Olympic champion in ice skating and S.O. board member, will be talking about the value of sport in forming good habits such discipline, structure, accountability and team work—all qualities that, when applied to special-needs athletes, helps them not only to excel at their chosen sport but also in life. Kwan’s point was that sport is an equalizer. We also loved how humble she is, describing herself simply as “an athlete.” She’ll be competing in unified roller skating with Olympic gold medalist Apolo Ohno this afternoon

Come back to hear an amazing story from Charles Nyambe from Namibia. He’s currently the director of program development and sports in all of Africa but the road to getting that gig gives new meaning to the concept of fate.

Fate also figures into Dikembe Mutombo’s story. Today he’s a former NBA star from the Democratic Republic of Congo. When he was just a kid growing into his current height of 6’11” Mutombo was teased, harassed and excluded because of his height. “It’s not just people with intellectual disabilities that get targeted,” he says.

Kevin Farr is the CFO of Mattel. He will be talking about why Mattel got involved with S.O., that they focused on Mattel’s consumers—youth—to be the catalyst to change attitudes because they are the future, so bottom up. Hopefully more corporations will take their lead so Mattel and changing minds from the top down.

On the less famous front Mary Beth competed today on her injured foot.  After a good start in the 400 meter she tired and finished 5th in her prelim.  She competes in the 800 meter tomorrow.  In the cool down area she was visibly tired- quote of the day, “I pant easily.”

Brittany Tagliareni, the tennis player from Florida profiled in the Lake Mary Times was part of the Unifty Sports press conference sitting right next to Michelle Kwan.  See Brittany’s story in the “Written Story” section of the website.

On a local note there was chaos in the streets today. We missed most of it, including the tear gas, and thanks to our trusty cabbie (same guy who played our restaurant guide) we got back to the hotel in one piece.  The tear gas was in the air and the quick walk to the hotel door made our eyes and throats burn.



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