The Special Olympics are starting soon, with many of the events taking place at University College Dublin, close to my home and office. It’s somehow surprising that we haven’t heard more about it at work, since we are a major IT expertise centre just a stone’s through away from UCD. There is no shortage of volunteers ready to help out, with people being turned away. I’m a little dubious about the Special Olympics, which appear a little forced to me, but then I’ve never been a fan of competitive sports.
In school, I didn’t find it life-affirming in any way, it was more embarrassing than liberating. I’ve never been good at running, even as a kid, since I run out of breath too soon and take too long to get it back. I was forced into playing rugby when I was about 10, but even then I understood the principle that incompetence at an activity is the best way to avoid it, and I was never “asked” again. (At work, the opposite is also true: if you’re good at work, you will be rewarded with… more work.)
I did pretty well at the high jump, for some strange reason, but I was hardly champion material. The same with Badminton, which I started as a way to get out of other sports, but (like squash) it can be hard on the joints if you’re tall. (It’s no accident that the world champions in these sports are generally from the Far East.) That leaves me with cycling as my favourite physical activity. All I need is a decent bike – my cheap second-hand one is a little rusty after a winter spent outside, though it still works well enough.