American High School hosts second year of Special Olympics
On November 14, 2014, American High School hosted the second annual Special Olympics. All of the Fremont Unified School District (FUSD) high schools participated, along with Newark, James Logan, and many junior high and elementary schools.
Before the event took place, the students were excited to have a friendly soccer competition with people from other schools.
“I can meet people from other schools,” sophomore Joyce Lee said. “I like playing soccer, and I think we have a strong team.”
Senior Robert Hill also expressed his view on the event. Since he participated last year, he was already familiar with the game.
“I’m very excited for the Olympics,” Hill said. “This is my second year participating, and I scored three goals last year.”
For the students who were severely handicapped and could not join games, they were given one-on-one sessions with girls on the soccer team, passing and kicking the ball. The only “competition” held was the unified game, where both General and Special Ed. students came together as a team. In this game, American High School won against Washington High School.
Nancy Patterson, a Student Care Development teacher, thinks that Special Olympics gives an opportunity for General Education students to meet the Special Ed. students.
“General Eds may see that our students have many good skills as well,” Patterson said. “They may not live the same life as we do, but they have the same dream, and it gives them a chance.”
Overall, the Special Olympics was a deviation from the usual competitive realm. Rather, it focused more on participation and cooperation, and most of all, having fun. In the end, each player was awarded a ribbon in recognition of their effort. Everyone went home as a winner.