COLORADO SPRINGS – With the Tokyo Olympics exactly one month away, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum is kicking off a summer series. Members of the community can meet athletes and participate in unique activities through this summer event.
The first one kicked off on Wednesday. In celebration of Olympic Day, kids got hands-on experience with Paralympic sports. A group of kids learned how to play wheelchair basketball from team USA Paralympic and Olympic athletes.
“I’m having a lot of fun. It’s really cool getting to experience something I’ve never done before and something I never thought I’d do so I’m really enjoying everything,” said Devyn Jackson.
Abby Farrell was teaching the group her wheelchair basketball skills at the event.
“As popular as this sport is within the Paralympic community, many people may not know that it exists in the general population. So it was really cool to be able to go out and teach these kids how to play. Kind of the technical aspect of the sport. It’s really cool to be able to help kids experience Paralympic sports, sometimes for their first time,” Farrell said.
Not only did kids learn new skills from these athletes, they also gained appreciation for the Olympic values such as determination, inspiration, courage and equality.
“Those are values that you know we live in everyday life and they’re not necessarily sport values and always a great sort of avenue and area that can help athletes in and understand important values that are for all of us as we grow up,” said Olympian Michelle Dusserre Farrell.
Olympic and Paralympic athletes were sharing their knowledge and love of sports -because that’s what Olympic Day is really all about.
“I have so much respect for them. They’re amazing athletes and things like this I don’t even think about that they have to adjust to really fun and I have a lot of respect for them,” Jackson said.
“I encourage people to learn about the Paralympics and learn about their athletes. And watch them this summer when they go to Tokyo,” Farrell added.
The museum is throwing a four day Olympic Games festival full of activities during the Tokyo games. More summer series activities, like wheelchair basketball, will run through Labor Day at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum.