This year they started the 1st annual CRI Paralympics. It was an amazing experience that I am so lucky and honored to be a part of!
There was a big opening of the games with the lighting of the torch and speeches. The participating soldiers came out and lined up in front of the stage. The rest of us sat in our areas and then stood for the national anthem. Then there was the speech, and then the whole games were begun by the lighting of the torch. It was very moving.
The next four days were full of events such as Futsal, Sitting Volleyball, Weight-lifting, Brain Games and Fencing. There were the customary playoffs with one team or person winning each category. It was amazing to watch the soldiers participate with their whole heart in the games. Many times I see them have way more courage to participate in life than I do and am awed.
At the end of the events were the presentation of medals and closing ceremonies where a former soldier who re-habilitated at the CRI and is currently in training for the Paralympic games in Seoul presented his jersey to the center! The event was very moving.
The Paralympics ended with bands playing and dancing and merriment true to Colombian custom! The celebration was now complete and I am blessed to have been a part of it.