Almost Here: 2018 Special Olympics Summer Games
It’s almost time to take part in the 2018 Special Olympics Summer Games, June 9-10 at California State University, Long Beach. Associate volunteers from Carrington will be busy at this year’s Games, helping in all areas and cheering on more than 1,100 athletes from around the country. Anaheim-based Lorie Georgeson, instructional designer for CMS, has a special role as one of the coaches for the six-member Irvine Eagles Swim Team.
A lifelong swimmer – “I was a swim team member from the age of 6” – Lorie got certified as a Special Olympics coach so more swimmers could compete. “What a lot of people don’t understand is that Special Olympics is an all-volunteer organization,” says Lorie. “We have to have a certain ratio of volunteers to swimmers in order to participate. My presence as a coach means more swimmers from our team could go to the Games.” (She’ll be escorting two girls from the Irvine Eagles team who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to compete.)
Lorie became involved in Special Olympics because of her brother Chad, now 29, who has been active as a Special Olympics athlete for more than 20 years. Chad is pictured above in the black robe. He won two gold and two silver medals the day the photo was taken; and his team took home almost 40 medals.
“Special Olympics has given Chad amazing confidence and physical fitness, but it’s funny how much I learn and grow when I take him to competitions,” she says. “Special Olympics is not about how many medals you’re going to get, or if you’re in first place, or you lose. It’s about so much more, including just having fun.”
At a recent swim meet, Lorie recalls, Chad was initially disappointed to come in fifth, but ended up celebrating shaving two seconds off his best time. “That’s what Special Olympics does – it brings us back to center and reminds us what the big picture is,” says Lorie. “Special Olympics is about being a winner if you can get in the water and compete.”
This year’s SoCal Summer Games, sponsored in part by Carrington Charitable Foundation, features four summer sports: athletics (track & field), basketball, bocce, and swimming. Special Olympics is the world's largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, providing year-round training and competitions to more than 4.4 million athletes in 170 countries.
Please join us for this unforgettable weekend, as Special Olympics athletes experience joy and inspire greatness in one another – accompanied by cheers from the enthusiastic crowds. There are still opportunities for Fans in the Stands – volunteers who do not need to register online. Fans in the Stands will be directed to the fan zone to pick up cheer signs, after which they'll head to the venue of their choice to cheer on the athletes. You can find out more about the Special Olympics 2018 Summer Games here.