Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: FINISH (05/26/16)
TITLE: The Really Good Day
By Donna Powers
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Miss Tina is helping me write this down. She’s one of the coaches here, and she’s really nice. There are lots of nice people here.
I forgot to say where we are. We’re at a college. This building is where the students usually sleep, but this weekend all us athletes from Special Olympics are staying here. We come for Summer Games: to do sports and have fun. There are lots of people like Miss Tina who make sure we stay safe.
We got here yesterday at dinner time. We had Sloppy Joes, potato chips and grape drinks. I don’t usually like grape drinks but I was thirsty. After supper, we had a parade. That was fun! I helped hold the banner for my group. .
Our coach, Mr. Ed, was the announcer at the opening ceremonies. Mr. Ed rides in a wheelchair because he gets tired when he walks. He announces every team and when he reads our team’s name, it makes me feel really special inside.
This morning we had eggs and bacon and orange juice. After breakfast, we went to a tent where they had a carnival. There were lots of games, and I got my face painted like a kitty. I won four necklaces. I’m going to give one to my Mom.
My event is the 500 yard dash. That’s a kind of race. Mr. Ed taught us the important thing about any race is: just do your best until you get to the finish line. I know what that’s like because we practice every Saturday at Special Olympics. I like to run, and Mr. Ed told us it’s not who wins that’s important – it’s that we all do our best.
I can do that!
So, today, we were running. I felt really good. I was running my best and saw Tammy running ahead of me. I’ve seen Tammy before, and she is a really good runner. Tammy’s from another group but I’ve seen her at regional meets and Summer Games. She has been first to the finish line in lots of races. Athletes get a gold medal when they finish first. Last year, I got a bronze medal because I finished third. Sometimes, I don’t get a medal, but everyone gets a red white and blue ribbon. Those ribbons look just like the flag! And, guess what? I think bronze medals or flag ribbons are just as pretty as gold medals. I hang all my medals and ribbons on my bedroom wall and it doesn’t matter to me what color they are.
My room looks great!
So, today Tammy was ahead of me and I was running my best. I thought maybe I would get to the finish line right behind Tammy. But, near the end of the race, Tammy tripped and fell down. That made me sad because one time, I tripped and scraped my leg. My mom had to put a really big band aid on it and it hurt to walk for a whole lot of days. So, when Tammy fell down, I got sad.
I decided to see if I could help Tammy. I’ll bet her coach told her to do her best until the finish line – just like Mr. Ed told us. So I went over and helped her stand up. She said her leg hurt, but it didn’t have any blood. We checked, and she could still walk if I helped her. So, I put my arm around her shoulder and we walked together as fast as we could.
We made it to the finish line!
When we finished, Miss Tina gave us both a high five and made sure a nurse looked at Tammy’s leg. She told us we were the fifth and sixth athletes to get to the finish line. Yay! Flag ribbons for us! Miss Tina says she took a picture of us as we crossed the finish line together – and she would send the picture to my Mom. Tammy said thank you and asked if we could be friends. That’s so great!
Tonight, as I go to sleep, I’m thinking what my wall at home will look like with one more flag ribbon on it. And, when Mom gets that picture from Miss Tina, I’ll ask her if I can put the picture on my wall, too.
Because I always want to remember how I made a new friend it was a really good day.
This story is based on real events at Special Olympics games. I have seen similar things happen, countless times. Mr. Ed and Miss Tina are real Special Olympics coaches, and I am honored to have met and known them.
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