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2002-06-09 - 8:40 a.m.

Special Olympics. At this point I feel like Iíve repaid quite a bit of my Karmic debt. Itís very easy to be cynical about such events before and after. But during, it was one of those Lifetime movies where everyone learns a valuable lesson. This year I worked on the Swim Event, and it was much more rewarding than anything prior. Less crying but more skin. Itís kind of a tough trade off. However, the extreme lack of self-consciousness made everything all right. I had the luck of being a ďHandlerĒ which meant that I was responsible for staging the athletes, getting them to the pool and the correct lane, and then once they were done, out of the pool and to the medal ceremony. Some of the people where so excited. I keep wanting to call them kids, because a good majority of them were. But then there were the 40 year olds, running about in their swimsuits barely able to control their excitement. I didnít cry, mainly because I belong to a family and society that frowns on such frank displayís of emotions where their men folk are concerned, but it was not for lack of inspiring opportunities. One woman, who had been abandoned because of her mental abilities (or lack thereof) had been in a state run institution for 30 years, and it had taken 5 years in a group home to allow her to advance to the point where she could participate. She won in the 50 meter backstroke and took it all in stride. She loved her medal, she kept telling me as I led her back to her group. Sheís going to Marine World this summer. Another girl, who knew 5 strokes and was allowed to swim in the deep end without an adult there, thought I looked like Nick from the Backstreet Boys. I donít. Honest. She invited me to the dance. Her friend, jealous of the attentions being received had to come over. Upon learning that I wasnít a Backstreet Boy, her bladder resumed control and she left. Telling EVERYONE what was going one. She had to urinate it seems. It was a very moving and wonderful experience.

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