Now that I am with Special Olympics Southern California, I had the opportunity to work my first Summer Games. It is one of more than 200 events a year but it is the biggest. If you ask any of the athletes, it is the one they look forward to. It is the championships. It is their final four. It is their super bowl. It is their moment. And it showed. I had many duties, but I had the chance to sneak away with the cameras a couple times.
Day one featured a festival, free health screenings, a behind scenes look at volunteers from Vons, Albertsons and Pavilions making 8,000 lunches, and the most memorable dunk “contest” ever.
Day two was on the track and at the pool. I snuck by the awards podium at the swim venue. If you have a chance, I encourage everyone out there to go to your state’s summer games and watch the medal ceremonies. You will shed a tear. And then there was the show stopper. The young athletes exhibition on the track. A pair of young ones stole the show.
Enjoy what I saw behind the lens (galleries linked by the day above).
2017 Special Olympics Southern California Summer Games Day Two June 11, 2017 Swimming
As the 48th annual Summer Games approached – the largest event of more than 200 annually organized through Special Olympics Southern California – I had the opportunity to see a side of Special Olympics not as know. It’s acronym is LETR. It stands for Law Enforcement Torch Run. It is the organization of law enforcement officers who give of their efforts to raise funds and awareness for the Special Olympics movement. The primary effort for LETR is called the Final Leg. More than 3,000 officers throughout Southern California travel the torch for the Summer Game nearly 900 miles over two weeks, ending at the venue in Long Beach. I joined one of the routes on my big. Taking my cameras as five agencies took the torch on an amazing ride. It was an amazing ride. Check out some of what I saw in the gallery FINAL LEG.
Special Olympic Southern California LETR Final Leg – Central Route – Monday, June 5, 2017 Manahattan Beach Police Department
After 17 years at Loyola Marymount, I began an new adventure with Special Olympics Southern California. Two weeks into my new role, I had the opportunity to shoot my first event. The Spring Regional Games in Santa Clarita Valley. It was followed by the Spring Regionals in Pomona and then the San Diego Regional Games.I am not sure words can properly express what I got to see. The spirit. The joy. The determination. A nine-year old stole my heart. A volunteer was a show-stopper. A bocce athlete was just happy to play. A father-daughter combo brought tears to the eyes.Every one had stories of love, perseverance, determination, inclusion and so much more. The imagery was amazingly overwhelming. The people – no words can explain.
Special Olympic Southern California 2017 San Diego County Spring Region Carlsbad High School May 27, 2107 bocce celebration