For Cam's GLI (Global Learners Initiative) class, he was asked to research a topic he felt passionate about. Since we've been watching the Olympic Games as a family, he wanted to know more about the different options for athletes of all abilities. The Olympics and Paralympics have different governing bodies but for decades have been held in tandem- in the same host city during the same year.
They really are parallel events: The word "Paralympic" includes the Greek preposition "para," meaning "beside."
In Paralympic sports, athletes are grouped together by "the degree of activity limitation" resulting from their impairment.
|Cam at school "Olympics"|
Meanwhile, the Special Olympics differ from the Paralympics in three main areas: the structure of their organizations, the disability categories of the athletes and the criteria and philosophy under which they participate.
The Special Olympics provides training and competition year-round, and holds World Games every two years (alternating with summer and winter events). The most recent Special Olympics World Games was held in Abu Dhabi in 2019, and the next are scheduled for 2022 in Kazan, Russia.
The Special Olympics welcomes all athletes with intellectual disabilities, of all ability levels, ages 8 and up. Paralympic athletes must fulfill certain criteria and meet qualifying standards in order to be eligible.
On Valentine's Day, Cam had a busy evening. Every Monday after quickly addressing homework activities, he heads off to his swimming and physical therapy appointments, conveniently located in the same building and only a ten minute drive down the road. Cam and his mom arrived back home to find that Chris had dinner ready and a beautiful bouquet of Valentine's flowers for Jane from father and son.
The random amounts of snow we are still receiving remind us that winter isn't quite ready to let go of Michigan just yet. After Chris had snowplowed the driveway on Saturday, he definitely resembled an abominable snowman!
Sunday morning, the sunshine felt amazing and we ventured northward for an afternoon visit with Oma and Opa. Lake Michigan looks so different during the winter months and it's always a treat to spend time with Cam's grandparents. Even though it was a windy day, the drone was able to capture some very cool pictures of the big lake. The ice is much too thin at the shoreline to safely walk out so it's a relief that technology can take over.
Cam always wants to complete projects on the weekend and we were able to check quite a few things off of the list at his grandparents' home, including sharing some hearty laughter.
The chilly wind coming off of the Lake Michigan felt like an artic blast, but if you close your eyes and concentrate on the sunshine, you can imagine and remember that summer is just a few months away.
At school, Cam looks forward to his physical education class. Obstacle courses and challenges are a frequent activity for our eighth grader. The newest addition this year is what he calls a "wall sit-up."
"I am not sitting on the wall, I am pushing against it for exercise 😁"
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