Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Applause for These Special Athletes

Yesterday I attended a leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for the Special Olympics Southern California and met three amazing young athletes. Heather Dannielle Gossett, Michael Evans, and Austin Frederick are members of the Special Olympics Southern California team, representing the Pomona Valley Chapter.

My husband, Bassman, and a team from Pomona Police Department, ran the Special Olympics Flame of Hope through the city of Pomona. The leg opened on the grounds of the Lanterman State Hospital and Development Center, passed through the streets of Pomona, and was handed off to a team from Montclair Police Department.

Heather, Michael, and Austin ran alongside the PPD team on-and-off through the eight-mile segment. (Pictured above is Austin, Heather, and Michael.)

Heather, a 23-year-old, 11-year veteran of the Special Olympics, opened the segment as torch-bearer. Teammate, Michael Evans, is a 22-year-old runner and shot-put athlete who has participated in the Special Olympics for 12 years. At 14 years old, Austin Frederick, was the youngest member of the Pomona torch relay team, but is a 5-year participant in the Special Olympics. Austin ran the torch in the final yards.

The Special Olympics Southern California Summer Games open Friday night at Cal State Long Beach, with game and events opening Saturday and closing on Sunday.

Please post your comments and congrats to Heather, Michael, and Austin. I'll make sure they see your good wishes.


lori said...

Yay to Heather, Michael and Austin! Can you hear my cheers all the way from Philly? One day I hope my daughter will be a part of Special Olympics. You are great role models. CONGRATULATIONS!-- Lori

jenny gardiner said...

Way to go, Heather, Michael and Austin! You guys are THE BEST! We are soooo proud of you!
Many congratulations!

Stella said...

Heather,Michael & Austin -

YOU GUYS ROCK!! What great role models indeed!
(I wonder did any of you make it over to Ireland for the games in 2003? We were hosts to Germany, and enjoyed the event so much!)
I hope all three of you know that you are an inspiration to people all over the world!

Three cheers!


GEM said...

Best of luck, you guys! You'll be in my thoughts this coming weekend. Cheers, GEM

Anonymous said...

Heather, Michael and Austin: I can't express the feeling of joy in regards to these Special Olympics. You three are true warriors and a credit to all humankind. This is truly awesome!! Wishing you and all the Olympians the very best of God's blessings.

spacedlaw said...

Congratulations to you, Heather, Austin and Michael ! You guys are a perfect model of what really sport is all about.
Hugs and sunshine to all.

Anonymous said...

WOW! Keep spreading the energy for others to follow. Never give up. Heather, Michael and Austin you were created just for this endeavor. You guys RULE!!


RobinSlick said...

Yeah! Heather, Michael and Austin - you rock!!!!

And the reason you can hear Lori all the way from Philly is that I'm in the same city, cheering you on along with her...I bet by Friday we have the whole east coast clapping and screaming Go Heather! Go Michael! Go Austin!

You guys (and gal) are seriously the best.


Cat Connor said...

Awesome job guys!!
Hope you have the best time at the Summer Games. :)

My foster brother, Paul, used to to participate in the New Zealand Special Olympics when he was young.

Kim Stagliano said...

WHOOHOOOOO coming at you from Connecticut!!


Kim, mom to three pretty special girls

Michelle Cooke said...

Wow! You made it all the way to the Olympics. What a job well done. The road may have been tough, but you kept on going and now you will see the benefit of your hard work. In the words of Sir Winston Churchill, "Never, never give up."

haute flash contessa said...

Way to go Heather, Michael and Austin. We're proud of you here in Houston!

Katie Alender said...

Congratulations, Heather, Michael, and Austin! What a great achievement and honor.

Terez said...

What a wonderful, wonderful thing to read about! Congratulations to Heather, Michael and Austin - this story and the pictures filled my heart with warmth.

Kerry said...

WAY TO GO MICHAEL, HEATHER, and AUSTIN!!! Michael as your sis I am especially proud of you and all you have done!!
What an honor to participate in Torch Run for such an amazing event!
I wish you all well on the weekend!!
Congratulations to all of you!!!!