Today we called Samantha and Vickie, a unified pair that are competing in Bocce Ball for Team Oregon at the 2018 USA Games. Samantha told us that she has been playing Bocce Ball for 12 years! Heidi and Claire didn’t even know the rules of Bocce until they attended the Team Oregon training camp where they met Samantha and Vickie who taught them all about it.
They are a unique pair, as Vickie is Samantha’s mother, so they have the opportunity to train all the time together! We are very excited to see them compete at the 2018 USA Games, as when we saw them just training at the training camp, they were very talented.
Samantha has greatly appreciated and loves being a part of Special Olympics. She believes it’s a great way for her to make new friends and just meet new people overall. This summer at the games, Samantha is excited to meet even more people, like those from all around the country. Special Olympics brings people together in an amazing, inclusive environment where everyone has the ability to be involved. No one is ever left out if they are participating in the many different programs Special Olympics has to offer. The games to Samantha are also providing an amazing opportunity for her to get together with lots of other people who love Bocce Ball and just have a lot of fun!
To Samantha, inclusion means that she gets to be accepted for who she is and she never has to change herself to make friends. If people are practicing inclusion, they are not afraid based on stigmas to get to know those with disabilities, so there is nothing keeping them from becoming friends with everyone.