Over many years I have been privileged to broadcast from the Special Olympics of Iowa and through these broadcasts have enjoyed getting to know many of them, their families and coaches. I learned that competing was just a small part of the equation, the love, dedication and caring demonstrated has been an extremely humbling and inspirational part of my life. In one of my 1st interviews with a young lady I noticed she had already won a medal hanging around her neck. I asked her if I might touch it for a closer look. "NO!" she exclaimed, 'Only my special friends get to touch it". I then proceeded with the interview for the next few minutes as we drew near the end she suddenly placed that medal in my hand saying that now I was a special friend. It was difficult to get my emotions under control and I thanked her. We've been friends ever since as we meet every year. As a side note, after the interview her boy friend wandered over giving me the hard look like I was moving in on his girl. I did some fast talking and smoothed things over. As they were leaving she said "My boy friends got gum, do you want some?" at that moment he turned to me holding a well chewed piece and said "This was my last piece but you can have it" I respectfully declined. I will tell you this, there is nothing like a hug from a Special Olympic athlete expressing thanks.
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