Sunday, July 3, 2011

Youth Rally for a Dignity Revolution

Here in Greece we have an incredible group of youth! We have partners who give selflessley everyday to support their friends in Greece and we have Athletes who daily demonstrate courage and hope! Together we have a group of youth who are unstopable! This is what we experienced last night at a Global Youth Rally. Over 5000people gathered at the Olympic Venue to hear messages from athletes including one of our fellow Youth Summit Participants and celebrities! After motivation from the speakers the music started and youth danced and celebrated these messages of dignity, diversity, perserverance and activation! One youth reported that he loved the rally even though he had no idea what anyone was saying, "with music you don't need to know, you can feel the energy!"

Thursday, June 30, 2011

In the Spirit of The Games!

At The Games & Skyler with Eddie Barbanell!

Yesterday we visited the Olympic Games to view some of the sports and cheer on teams from around the world. courage was a common theme as Athletes from around the world performed their best! I loved the smile on the face of an athlete from the USA who while running a 3000m race ended up a lap behind. Each time he passed the stands, the crowd would roar and he kept going! His place doesn't matter, but the perserverance does!

Also amazing are the number of volunteers here from Greece and round the world. Yesterday we visited "Healthy Athletes" which include programs to give Athletes the attention of medical professionals that they need but rarely get. It was great to see the medical professionals gathering together for a common cause!

Last night we were honored to have Special Olympics International staff join us for dinner! It is great to see the importance they recognize in the youth movement! Mr. Lum, SO President and Chief Operating Officer addressed youth with sincerity and confirmation that they are making a difference! Skyler not has tons of ideas for Forest Grove and Oregon... and connections around the world!

A great ending to the night was the showing of "The Ringer" with guest Eddie Barbanell! He is an inspiration to us all! If you haven't seen it, check it out! - Team Oregon

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Creating Leaders!

Yesterday we ate breakfast with the celebrities including Eddie Barbanell and Dikembe Mutombo. The breakfast was not only nutritious but empowered youth to be the change! Apolo Anton Ohno provided an inspiring message of how Unified Sports can make a difference in the sports arena and our communities! Discussions also surrounded how we are going to get the media to help us make changes! Chris, Skyler and youth from around the world continued to shine with their presentations. Our friends from Jordan produced an amazing play and song which we hope to share with you when we return about diversity and acceptance. We met an inspiring Canadian named Jennifer Corriero with energy and examples of youth making change around the world. The night ended with dance... the best part about dancing is that it superceeds any language or ability! Youth from around the world danced the night away to hits from around the world.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Reports from The Games!

Skyler Sharp reporting from Greece..."Being here in Greece I have been shown how much fo an impact that youth can have on their communities and the world. When I get back I hope to make an impact as well as get other people involved with youth leadership and Special Olympics."

Chris Sullivan reports... "I Love it! I talked to my friends Josh and Noah last night on the computer. I danced with everyone."

By the end of this trip I am fairly confident Chris will have a photo with every other person here. I am daily inspired by the camaraderie youth here demonstrate regardless of any intellectual, political or religious backgrounds. No language or ability barrier is going to stop this group from making a difference in their communities and in the world. The political situation here in Greece is difficult, although we do not feel threatened in anyway. It is somewhat ironic that Special Olympics and Project UNIFY bring this amazing example of hope to Greece and the world at such a difficult time!

Yesterday we had an opportunity to visit the Olympic Village and meet Athletes from around the world! The energy, excitement and competitive spirit were really undescribible. Our youth had the opportunity to interview Athletes from all over and tell their stories to others! I wish you could all be here to be part of this amazing event!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Making History!

Yesterday we had the opportunity to make history! We went to Parliment with our Global Youth Activation Summit group and 50 other youth from Greece. We were addressed by the President of the Parliment and other top Greek officials. The youth presented officials with a proclamation of their commitment to making Greece more Unified through sports and other avenues. That was followed by a tour of Ancient Greece including the Acropolis and Parthenon. I think Chris has now successfuly made friends with every other delegation from around the world and Skyler is definitely representing Forest Grove and Oregon with great leadership skills!

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Greetings from Greece! On behalf of Team Oregon we are having an amazing time! Skyler said today that it seems like we have been here forever! Ever since the moment we arrived, we have been welcomed by people from all over the world! It is refreshing to be in a place where nothing matters except the fact that we are all human and have a common goal, unity! Last night we had the amazing opportunity to attend Opening ceremonies! Chris sums up the experience in the video. When asked how it felt to walk in opening ceremonies he said, "I felt famous!" The ceremony was four energizing, inspiring hours with words from celebrities and most importantly athletes! After much suspense the torch was lit and that is just the beginning, the games have begun. The games will continue as we work with and learn from people all over the world about global activation to make our world more unified! It is inspiring to see how even though we have all just met, everyone is welcomed, supported and respected! Hope to keep you posted with all the exciting events!