On and off the field, Denison ISD’s special olympians bring great pride and honor to their schools, teachers, friends and families by embracing and exhibiting the true spirit of sports and sportsmanship. The motto for Special Olympics is, "Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." At Denison ISD, that motto has become a way of life for dozens of special athletes.

On and off the field, Denison ISD’s special olympians bring great pride and honor to their schools, teachers, friends and families by embracing and exhibiting the true spirit of sports and sportsmanship. The motto for Special Olympics is, "Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." At Denison ISD, that motto has become a way of life for dozens of special athletes.


"Through the power of sports, students with disabilities discover new strengths and abilities, skills and successes," said Kimberly Beall-Martin, who teaches and coaches Special Olympians at B. McDaniel Middle School. "Our athletes find joy, confidence and fulfillment — in the bowling alley, on the basketball court, and in life. The transformative power of sports instills confidence in our athletes, improves health and inspires a sense of competition. In Special Olympics, the power and joy of sport shifts the focus to what our athletes can do, not what they can’t. The attention to disabilities fades away. Instead, we see our athletes’ talents and abilities — and we applaud them for all that they can do."


Amanda Walker, who teaches kids with special needs at Lamar Elementary, sees Special Olympics as a vital part of her students’ experience. "Each meet is something we look forward to and prepare for. Many of my students face a variety of challenges on a daily basis, and Special Olympics provides a fun and entertaining venue to address some of these challenges while building their self-esteem and allowing them to have a good time. Some of my special athletes have sensory challenges that make it difficult to be around large crowds, but they will face these challenges and make great strides to participate in Special Olympics.


"As a teacher of special athletes, I cannot express how proud I am of my kids. When I have the privilege of watching them compete and receive their awards, I know that I am watching something truly special. I am watching children who must overcome insurmountable odds to be where they are. I am watching a family receive their award for years of hard work and love poured into that child. I am watching a school and teachers and aides who have loved and taught that child. Special Olympics offers our special children a chance to win and be winners. I love that. I love anything that gives my students a chance to feel truly good about themselves."


Denison’s Special Olympians will compete in basketball on Feb. 4 in Lovejoy and Feb. 14 at Frisco. Track and Field competitions are scheduled for March 26 at Carrollton/Farmers Branch, April 4 in McKinney and April 17 in Whitesboro.