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On Thursday, July 18, President Trump welcomed America’s team of world-class athletes to the White House, celebrating their accomplishments. No, it wasn’t the pack of subsidized spoiled soccer brats who showed their contempt for our flag, our Constitution, and all Americans who dared disagree with their Lexus Leftism.
It was the true winners in life of our Special Olympics team, who were being honored, showcased in the most powerful office in the world, the Oval Office.
The Special Olympics World Games were held in Abu Dhabi, March 2019. The World Winter Games are offset by two years, per Olympics tradition, with the 2017 Games in Austria and the 2121 Games slated for Sweden. Notably, the Gulf Arab nation welcomed the Israeli team, honoring their participation and victories.
This is part of the quiet good news about accommodation and cooperation in the region, facilitated by President Trump’s shift of American policy back away from Iran, together with his early frank talk about radicalism in the region. The president praised the UAE ambassador for his nation’s successful hosting and gave him the floor for brief remarks. While these remarks centered on the Special Olympics, the subtext was normal, peaceful, secure, civilized relations.
The President spoke with Special Olympics athletes, doing his usual fine job of praising visitors and giving them the floor to speak. He even handled a delicate situation with an athlete who spoke of her mother and father, then said they had both died. President Trump turned this to the parents looking down from heaven with pride in their child’s accomplishments.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I just want to congratulate every — I mean, what you’ve done is incredible. Bringing home all those medals. How did you feel about winning? How did you feel?
MS. CAMERON: I did good. I did five — over five time — five times over.
THE PRESIDENT: Whoa. (Laughter.) That’s not bad, huh? (Applause.)
MS. CAMERON: I did — I did fourth — fourth place.
THE PRESIDENT: Right. Very good. Thank you very much.
MRS. PENCE: But, Mr. President, Jane was telling us beforehand — we were waiting in the Roosevelt Room — she was sharing that she was so excited that her dad and she both have the same color hair as you. (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: Wow.
MS. CAMERON: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: Oh, wow.
MRS. PENCE: Pretty proud of that.
THE PRESIDENT: I hope he has a beautiful head of hair like me. (Laughter.) Maybe it’s better.
MS. CAMERON: But my dad (inaudible) hair.
THE PRESIDENT: He likes the hair. (Laughter.) That’s very interesting. I’m going to have to think about that. (Laughter.) Thank you. Say hello to your dad, right?
MS. CAMERON: No. I’ll tell you why.
THE PRESIDENT: Go ahead.
MS. CAMERON: My dad died.
THE PRESIDENT: Ooh.
MS. CAMERON: And my mom too.
THE PRESIDENT: When did your dad die?
MS. CAMERON: (Inaudible) home.
THE PRESIDENT: That’s too bad.
MS. CAMERON: And my mom too.
THE PRESIDENT: And you loved them both, right?
MS. CAMERON: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: That’s good. And they’re proud of you, you know? They’re looking down right now, because you’re in the Oval Office. This is the big stuff, right? You’re in the Oval Office, and they’re looking down on you and they see gold, right? That’s gold.
MS. CAMERON: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: That’s really something. And they’re very proud of you, right?
MS. CAMERON: Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: So, congratulations.
MS. CAMERON: Thanks.
By taking the time to actually engage with people with varying degrees of intellectual disabilities, President Trump communicated support, of the most powerful nation’s most powerful office, for their dignity and worth. This event squarely supported the vision of the Special Olympics founder, Eunice Kennedy Shriver:
Eunice Kennedy Shriver had a sister, Rosemary, who had an intellectual disability. She and Rosemary grew up playing sports together and with their family. The sisters swam, they sailed, they skiied, they played football together. But in those days, there were limited programs and options for someone like Rosemary….
Eunice Kennedy Shriver believed that if people with intellectual disabilities were given the same opportunities and experiences as everyone else, they could accomplish far more than anyone ever thought possible.
She put that vision into action in 1962 by inviting young people with intellectual disabilities to a summer day camp she hosted in her backyard….
What began as one woman’s vision evolved into Special Olympics International — a global movement that today serves more than 4.7 million people with intellectual disabilities in 170 countries.
At the highest performance end of this vision are people like Amy Bockerstette, who is a good enough golfer to individually qualify and help her Arizona high school team make it to state championships, in one of the strongest golf program states in the nation:
In her four years playing high school golf, Amy built a community of friends and earned two appearances in the Arizona State High School Golf Championship. In 2017 she qualified with her team and became the first person with Down syndrome to play in the championship, earning her “Moment of the Year” by azcentral.com. Her senior year, she qualified as an individual.
In May 2018, Amy became a college athlete, earning a full scholarship to play golf at Paradise Valley [Community College].
Golf World, part of Golf Digest’s online presence, covered Amy Bockerstette making par on the 16th hole, in a practice round at the 2019 Phoenix Waste Management Open:
Her self-talk of “I got this” echoed Dad Joe’s gentle reminder of “You got this,” and she moved confidently, joyfully from tee shot to bunker shot to eight-foot par putt. It showed us how easily we sometimes overlook the obvious, that the game might not be as complicated as we make it….
The Amy Bockerstette-Gary Woodland video resonates obviously because Amy makes an incredible par. It’s repeatedly viewed because it overflows with joy, both Amy’s embrace of the moment and how Woodland, playing partner Matt Kuchar and caddie John Wood are genuinely overwhelmed by her success. But to Dr. Baumer it’s more than a sweet golf story. It’s hope made real in a critically important way, showing what Down Syndrome really means, paving the way for new possibilities.
In a time when some nations are proudly eliminating “defective” people through abortion of anyone with the wrong gene markers, this president has weighed in unambiguously, on the side of the dignity and worth of people with developmental disabilities. What an opportunity for a special group of American athletes, and what a contrast to the spoiled soccer brats, who can’t imagine meeting with a president, who is not approved of by the cultural and corporate elites.
Imagine throwing away the chance at a private meeting with the most powerful government official in the world. What issue or initiative did the soccer mean girls kick away, unlike Kim Kardashian, who pressed for prison sentencing reform? The Special Olympians proved far more effective advocates than the women’s soccer stars.