Photo Credit: Freddie B. Photography™
Last but not least, DAY 7 Special Olympics,
History is made when Kim Moo Sung, newly elected chairman of the supreme council of the Saenuri Party, attends the Los Angeles Convention Center to meet with Tim Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics, and Patrick McClenahan, President of LA2015. Many officials were among them as was SpecialNeeds.com. Photographer, Freddie B. and I, Robin Flutterby Borakove had a unique opportunity to witness and listen to Tim Shriver, Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s Son, explain to the Chairman why his mother started the Special Olympics in her backyard all those years ago. Kim Moo Sung had quite the entourage and when they were done talking, he was escorted to visit some of the sporting events and congratulate the athletes.
Soon after, we attended the powerlifting competition, where we watched in amazement as Adam Maresh of Valley City, North Dakota, dead lifted 405 pounds! The audience went wild and the loudest cheers came from his mom and aunt, who were able to make the trip out to Los Angeles to support him. Adam took after his father, Robert Maresh, a national wrestler nicknamed “Swampy.” When Adam was in high school wrestling and power lifting came naturally. He was diagnosed with ADHD as a child but it did not hold him back. With a strong support system in place from both family and coaches, Adam is able to continue to grow as a major contender in powerlifting. He is a contributing member of his community and is loved by all in his hometown and now the world, due to his participation in the Special Olympic World Games.
We caught up with one other athlete competing in the powerlifting event by name of Damien Marquis of Trinidad. He was quite excited to speak with SpecialNeeds.com. Damien told us that it was a dream to be in the Special Olympics because he wanted the world to know about his special gift of weight lifting. His “Super Power,” as he referred to it, was inspired by his love for Superman. Growing up he would read the Super Man comic books and told himself that he wanted to grow up and be a real life “man of steel”. Well Damien, from the looks of those weights you were picking up, you really are just that!
Moving on to see some of the track and field events at the USC Trojan Stadium, we witnessed some of our other, “real heroes” of this year’s Special Olympic World Games. Olivia Quigley was diagnosed with autism at the age of four. Then, in February, she was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. When you face the difficulties of autism and then add a life threatening illness on top, the struggles can be unbearable. In spite of this, Olivia was able to win the gold in Thursday’s 100-meter run! This young and incredible woman has still managed to maintain strength and courage to live her passion, all the while inspiring those around her to never give up their dreams. That is most definitely the description of what true “SHERO” is all about!
Our incredible journey of covering this year’s Special Olympics has not been without its challenges. Like anything in life that is inspiring and wonderful, it comes with hard work and determination to get that successful and positive result. This week’s events surrounding the Special Olympics World Games LA2015, has been a labor of love from all of us here at SpecialNeeds.com. I would like to take this opportunity to formally thank my Publishers, Merry Potter and Rick Precop, our Editor Flora Lazaro, Website Manager Brandon Coelho, and Photographer Freddie Bommer and our amazing assistant, Christina Lascala, for a fantastic job supporting all that went into it. For a compilation of the coverage we did for Special Olympics World Games LA2015, please email [email protected]