The West Island Special Olympics organization held the end of the year celebration this weekend. Paul was awarded Coach of the Year and Louis received Outstanding Athlete of the Year for basketball. Louis's name will forever be on a trophy here in Quebec...and he received a small one for his collection.
We are all extra excited because his name will appear on the trophy with fellow teammates, like his friend Curtis, who received the award two years prior.
They had a fantastic season, winning a medal in the Provincial championships this past March. Louis loves basketball almost as much as Paul enjoys coaching it.
It was a bittersweet, as earlier in the day we said good bye (for now) to our great friends in the Eastern Townships at our Special Olympics ski team at Owl's Head. Our fellow skiers presented us with a cake and a priceless card with special notes we will treasure forever.
|Danielle with her fellow instructors and peer volunteers....and good friends!|
We will be forever grateful for Special Olympics Quebec...it's changed us all as a family and as individuals. We're taking everything we've learned from our Quebec friends and will jump into the programs in Illinois...minus the French of course. As our ski coach Art Zentner says..."one athlete, one coach." Paul and Louis will be recruiting a ski team for sure.
The day reminded us of what we will miss about Quebec most of all...the people and friends we have made. We will be thinking of our fellow athletes, parents, volunteers and friends as we continue our journey back to the States.
The day also reminded us of how the "special" people in our lives bring new meaning to our own lives and provide us with experiences and friendships we might not have had otherwise. Without Louis and is (dis)abilities, we likely would not have been involved in Special Olympics and the wonderful programs we experienced in Quebec.
We're certain our paths will cross again.
So as we said to our friends recently....this is not a good-bye but....
à la prochain