My favorite part about volunteering for the Special Olympics is the athletes that I meet. There’s Liam; I was his first kiss (it was on the cheek), and he made me promise not to tell his mom. Because of the Olympics, I now have three best friends who live in Saranac Lake. I go bowling with them and video chat with them daily. They were also my dates to the big dance that happens after the awards are given out for the Olympics. I met Craig at the State Olympics this past month. He knows every celebrity’s birthday, and he swears to me that he’s met Beyonce. I met a female athlete named Dana; she is looking for a boyfriend who is her height (5’1) and who watches the Disney Channel. These are just a few of many athletes that I get the privilege of meeting each year.

I think everyone should volunteer for the Special Olympics because it’s so rewarding. But even more importantly, by volunteering you are supporting an athlete, and that means the world to them. They do not have any disabilities, because the only disability in life is a bad attitude. The athletes have the best attitudes and I wish everyone could see their faces when they cross the finish line. It’s the best feeling in the world, seeing that they can accomplish anything. They are forever friends, and I love them dearly.

This is my second year volunteering for the Special Olympics. I volunteer at regionals, states, and the Paul Smith’s Special Olympics. Those three days are my favorite of the year. The athletes are my best friends and I wouldn’t trade my time with them, or the experience, for anything in the world. I love helping the athletes experience things that individuals may not think they are capable of achieving. The motto of the Special Olympics: “Let me win. But if I can’t win, let me be brave in the attempt.” The athletes strive to do what people may see as impossible; trust me, they can achieve the impossible and are superstars.

Stumpf Profile

My name is Carolyn Stumpf and I am a junior studying Natural Resources Management and Policy with a minor in Sustainability. I chose to attend Paul Smith’s so I could chase my dreams, alongside my sister. I am graduating a semester early (Fall 2016), and I then plan to go to graduate school to study climate change. I hope to end up in a developing country helping individuals with the availability of clean drinking water.

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