May 08, 2018
By: Jenna Kovalsky
Friday morning I had the privilege of covering the Lehigh County Special Olympics and let me tell you, it was a blast!!! I've heard of the Special Olympics before but never was involved or attended one. Every year Whitehall High School hosts the annual track and field day. Just to paint the picture of how many people were there, there was over 600 athletes participating and every athlete had their own personal buddy. The buddies were students from surrounding school districts who volunteered their time to help out with the event. Not only did students volunteer their time, but the companies who sponsored the event got the day off to come out and help as well. Many of the employees told me that they have a countdown to this day every year, and after attending I now see why. I'm going to veer of topic a little bit here, but I think it's necessary. This is one of the days that reminded me why I wanted to become a reporter. I love being the one that gets to tell the story of such a magical and influential event. People kept coming up to Ian and I and kept telling us how happy they were that we were able to come to the event.That was plenty of a reward for me, but it kept getting better. Some athletes were shocked that we wanted to interview them. "Me? Are you sure?" But that was what this whole day was about. Making sure they knew that YOU ARE JUST LIKE THE REST OF US. YOU CAN DO ANYTHING YOU WANT IN THIS WORLD. Just because you may have a birth defect, it doesn't limit you to anything. Seeing the smiles on their faces when they stood on that podium with a ribbon, no matter what color it was, was what this day was all about. The Pennsylvania Special Olympics has over 20,00o athletes and it keeps growing. All training and opportunities are offered free of charge to enable everyone to be able to experience it. They put on over 200 events a year and ANYONE is able to sign up to volunteer to help out. Many of the volunteers don't have any ties to the organization they just do it to help. And lt me tell you, that "feel good" feeling you get when you leave, makes it all worth while. For those of you reading this, I highly recommend checking out their website linked below. I feel honored to be the one that gets to tell the story of this day and hopefully it'll put a smile on the athletes faces, and I'll get to give them something in return for putting a huge smile on mine.