My 9 year old son will be participating in his first Special Olympic Games this week. It is the state games for the Michigan Special Olympics. It will be held on the campus of Central Michigan University where I am employed.
My son will be competing in track events. Both he and his parents are excited and not quite sure of what to expect. However, we are expecting a good time which will also be uplifting for the 9 year old. Although to be honest, I think he is more excited about getting to stay on campus for a few nights in a dorm room!
Here is my advice to my son. Run boy, run! Mom and Dad will be watching you and we are proud. Despite where you finish, we are pleased with your efforts.
President Bush commented on the importance of the Special Olympics in a speech he gave in 2007. It is located at the White House site as President and Mrs. Bush Attend Special Olympics Global Law Enforcement Torch Run Ceremony.
Here is an excerpt from the speech:
And so we welcome you, and we welcome your families, and we welcome your coaches and your supporters. And to the family members and coaches and supporters, I thank you for helping our fellow citizens understand that the promise of this country belongs to every citizen. Over four decades, the Special Olympics has changed the lives of millions of people across the world. And we're proud to note that this noble mission began right here in America. And let me just say, I believe it is a fitting testimony to this country, that was based upon ideals of inclusion and acceptance and hope, that the games we honor today began right here in our country.
And ours is a country that constantly needs to strive to realize that vision. Interestingly enough, it was 17 years ago today that the Americans With Disabilities Act was signed into law at the White House. I know some folks here witnessed that signature. And I know a man who played a major role in getting that done, and that was the 41st President -- you call him President, I call him Dad. I am proud it was my dad that signed that law into being. I firmly believe millions of disabled Americans have found more opportunities to work and to contribute to our society because of that law.
There's more work to be done, and that's why my administration is building on progress through what we have called the New Freedom Initiative. It's a good initiative and it's an important initiative, and it's an initiative that will help all Americans realize the great blessings of this country.