Today is both World Down Syndrome Day and World Poetry Day so we thought we would mark the occasion by reminding people of this inspirational poem recited by Tim Shriver,  Special Olympics Chairman, at the Closing Ceremony of the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games in PyeongChang, Korea where our Special Olympic Ireland Athletes did us proud:

Thank you for the volunteers who pushed the chairs with wheels
The MATP medals that made us know how winning feels

Thanks for all those docs for feet and eyes and ears
And for the teeth they cleaned so we can smile from all our ears to ears

Thanks for cheers and hockey pucks when they hit the back of the net
For officials who kept the rough and tumble safe so parents wouldn’t fret

Thanks for smiles that sneak out from the corners of shy eyes
Thanks even for the times they stopped our hearts and made us cry

Thanks for skates so sharp and music in our figures
Thanks for all the ways that dancing on the ice made us feel bigger

Thanks for skis and gates and boards that fly down magic mountains
For Young leaders dancing Gangnam style and for swimming in winter fountains

Thanks for Banda, Kyi, and Lee who came without a fuss
Thanks for when they told us that the athletes should lead us

Thanks for little athletes who learned to jump and shoot a ball
Thanks for every family member, first fans, cheering for us all

Thanks for Gareth Cowin who broke our hearts in tears of sadness
You’ll never leave us Gareth, your spirit will forever surround us

Thanks for global messengers of peace, sport and of acceptance
We’ll follow you wherever you go – all the way to the world’s end

Thank you even for the struggles and bones that broke and simplicity and weakness.
We know that they’re all a part of harmony that more is sometimes less

Thank you to the source of snow and ice, the color blue
Our joy is from our common heart in the love that sparkles true

Thanks for all Korea and the powerful chairman Na
The Revolution she will lead will take us to the stars

We thank you God, Allah, Adonai, and consciousness
We believe in gentle dignity because your spirit is in us.

Thank you to the volunteers who made us feel the magic Ah
2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games, the best games yet, hurrah, bravo, kamsahamnida!!

To read more about World Down Syndrome Day click here

To read more about World Poetry Day click here