Thursday, August 20, 2015
You know those stories you always hear about competitors in Special Olympics meets choosing cooperation and helping over competition -- like turning back during a race to help competitors who stumble? Well, if you wonder whether they're true, here's one I know is true -- it's about a teammate on my son's Special Olympics gymnastics team. This fellow, Jack Campbell, is an incredibly gifted gymnast, and was chosen to represent the U.S. at the Special Olympics World Games in L.A. this summer. Here's the story, from the gymnastics club that sponsors our team:
Jack Campbell, member of the Mini Hops Special Olympics Gymnastics team, returned from World Games Competition in Los Angeles last week adorned with medals and ribbons for his performance in the Artistic Gymnastics competition! Gymnasts from all over the world competed over four days striving to fulfill the Special Olympic oath: “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” Jack was both brave and he won! He took home gold in parallel bars and floor; silver in vault; bronze in high bar; fourth in still rings and fifth in pommel horse. That added up to an All Around bronze medal in his Level Two division. It was an impressive showing and the U.S. fans loudly let him know he was a favorite.
But Special Olympics is not just about sports; it is about sportsmanship and friendship. Jack proved once again at the Games that he comes out on top there, too. As it happened, a Chinese athlete showed up at the World Games only to discover that he had learned an outdated set of routines and did not know the correct ones. What a potential disaster for any athlete who has trained for years to reach the height of the sport! But Jack came to the rescue. Working with the coaches during long practices, Jack taught the routines to his colleague. With this little bit of help from his friends, the Chinese athlete was able to compete and win in a different division. That kind of spirit shines through Jack, in sports and in life, and Mini Hops is proud to welcome him home.