Editor’s Note: Today, we’ve got a guest post from our lovely summer intern, Meredith!
One summer a girl watched a boy struggle. She watched as he never gave up and always tried his best. She watched as his parents and teammates cheered him on. She saw determination in his face. She knew how much he wanted to win and make the crowed scream with excitement. Every loss just made him better, and with time, he finally won. I was that girl, and the boy was a determined Special Olympics athlete.
At the first ever Special Olympics international games in 1968, Eunice Kennedy Shriver first said what would later become the Special Olympics Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” With determination and a little faith anything is possible. But the thing to remember is as long as one tries their hardest and never gives up, success and happiness will always follow.
That very same summer I experienced determination all around me as I volunteered at the Special Olympics Summer Games. But one event separates itself from the others, and is one I will never forget. It was the track event and up next was an athlete that could barely walk. She had to try to walk 25 yards, which seems like nothing to us, but to her it was like running a marathon.
With every step she fell, but with every fall, she got back up. Determination kept her going. The crowd was silent as they watched a miracle happen in front of their eyes. She was a battery that never died, just kept on running and running. After about 10 minutes, she reached the finish line. The crowd went wild with excitement.
This is when I realized how much Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s quote affects the lives of many Special Olympics athletes, just like this one. This quote inspires them and lets them know that winning is not everything, giving your all is. Watching so many athletes give their all that weekend inspired me to use determination in a different way.
Success is not based on how talented you are but on how hard you try and never giving up. It is based on determination and how you use your determination for good. Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s quote, “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt” to inspire not only Special Olympics athletes but also people like you and me. Determination is in everyone, the only question is how and when will you use it?