To all of you that have a family member that is special needs. The Special Olympics are a spark of hope to the families that face immense challenges each day. With everything considered, I am sometimes upset at how the games are run and financed, however, their result is incredibly powerful. They celebrate a class of people that our society does their best to ignore from day to day; usually out of necessity. Seeing the Special Olympics on ESPN is a testament to the development of programs that can make the challenged individual’s life not as difficult or at least give them hope. These are athletes that probably have been laughed at for their challenges, and now have the chance to be celebrated on national television. It is up to our culture to ensure the responsible and appropriate respect of these athletes, as it seems inevitable that some people will not accept these people’s endeavors. It looks like progress to me.