My sister, Emily and I went down to the Qwest arena this morning and watched some of the figure skating events of the Special Olympics World Winter games. We watched a few groups of women and men compete during our 4 hour stay and the awards ceremony for those skaters. It was so much fun to see how excited they got at the end of their performances. You would think that each skater had won the gold! I saw groups of athletes sitting near us from Spain, Hungary, and Germany. It brought tears to my eyes many times as I watched those skaters perform. I am so happy for these athletes and the chance they have to be cheered on and be the center of attention! One skater, while on the awards podium, decided that a handshake from Michell Kwan wasn't enough and he pulled her into a tight hug! It was cute. The awards podium took about a dozen military men about a half an hour to setup, maybe longer. The awards are over in less than half that time and they take it all down, run the zamboni on the ice and they begin competitions again. As we were leaving we saw one of the medal winning skaters giving autographs to admirers. She just glowed as she was signing their programs. What a great thing for these special athletes!!