Thursday, June 24, 2010

Meet David Rosenthal

Special Olympics Haiti athlete David Rosenthal with Tim Shriver

The surprises continue in Haiti. Last night, the most pleasant surprise was meeting David Rosenthal, a star athlete in every way. Sitting between David and his mother at dinner last night was an honor. David's mom told her story of trying to raise a son with challenges-- of David's seizures during childhood and of her feeling totally lost and rejected. Her word's echoed the ones I heard as a child when my mother spoke of her sister: "There was nothing for David and nothing for me. It was so difficult. There was nothing."

You wouldn't know it talking to David. He's all grown up now, 31, handsome, funny, and incredibly athletic. His mother has done a fantastic job and his smiles are biggest when he talks of his two medals won in Shanghai. "I'm ready to play other sports as soon as Special Olympics calls me," David said. "I'm ready."

Needless to say, there are over 30,000 other potential athletes like David in this struggling country. Our challenge is to call them. We start next month with 300 at our summer camps. But that is only a start. We have so much more to do to help create a unified Haiti. Thank goodness we have David who will help lead the way.

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