About a week ago we found out that Angela qualified for the 2011 WORLD Special Olympics Games in Athens Greece! For swimming. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?
Dean and I had to chuckle a little, because she qualified for her back stroke, which is her worst stroke, and I think she qualified by default, but hey...she qualified!!!
There were others who qualified as well, but not all are actually eligible, and the state of Minnesota can only take so many athletes so there is an application process which includes a fourteen (14) page application which I have spent the past week filling out. You know, in the midst of studying for finals, preparing for our homstudy and adoption, and etc. And it's not just filling out the forms for the application, it's also gathering forms from her coaches (thank you Coach R. and M. for jumping on those right away!!!!) saying they support Angela attending the World Games too!
So what does this mean for Angela?
Well, the biggest thing, of course, is that she'd be representing the United States, and all athletes with disabilities, showing the world that THEY CAN DO IT TOO!!!!!! That with strength and determination you can do anything! Remember, just three years ago Angela couldn't swim!
But here's the other part, the hidden part. The athletes have to be ok separated from Mom and Dad for up to three weeks at a time. Just like the regular Olympics, they're sequestered away from the rest of the world a lot of the time. Dean and I (and her dad if he wants to) will still be able to go to Athens, but we won't be able to be "with" her. She'll be with her coaches, and training hard.
And there is the fact I don't know these coaches. I am sending my kid away with US coaches who I don't know. Her coaches have applied to go, but they, too, have to go through a selection process. Just as there is no guarantee Angela will be selected, there is no guarantee that a coach who knows her will be going.
In March there is a two week training camp in California that she would be required to attend, and then the World Games in Athens.
My child, my baby girl. The one they told me wouldn't get very far. Look at her go!