The 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games open on July 25th in Los Angeles. Over 40 Israeli competitors will be among the more than 7,000 Special Olympics athletes from 177 nations to compete in 25 Olympic-type sports this year. It’s a world stage for the athletes to demonstrate their courage, determination, and spirit of sportsmanship on the playing field. We hope you’ll make plans to be a Fan in the Stands on Thursday, July 30th, and join our Federation in creating an atmosphere of excitement as we cheer on competitors in tennis.
Maya Hertz, one of the Special Olympics athletes from Israel competing in this year’s World Games, shares her inspiring story:
“My name is Maya Hertz. I live in Kefar Saba, Israel. I am 19 and I love the Special Olympics! My sport is cycling and I train hard. So far, I have 30 medals from the World Games Special Olympics in Greece, where I won a Gold Medal and have participated in the United States East Coast Competition and Israel.
In the beginning, I always wanted to win every race and when I did not finish at the top I got mad at myself and even at my teammates and opponents who did better than me. When that happened, my coach taught me that respecting my teammates and opponents and trying my best are the most important parts of the Special Olympics. I learned that being a winner means knowing you don’t have to win every race. You need to work hard, enjoy the competition, make new friends, and have fun visiting new places.
My family and friends always say that I am an inspiration for them because I can overcome my disability and compete in the Special Olympics. That makes me feel good, but for me the most important thing is that the Special Olympics has taught me that I am a winner.”
To take your place to cheer in the stands on July 30, go to: /page/signup/special-olympics-fans-in-the-stands-opportunity.