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“It was a problem with my memory.  I couldn’t remember things….


“It was a problem with my memory.  I couldn’t remember things.  Everyone else my age was moving forward, and I kept staying behind.  My heart was very sore.  I loved school.  I wanted to be a doctor and a lawyer just like everyone else.  I kept asking God: ‘Why is this happening to me?’  I tried my best.  I even went to night school.  But eventually my teachers said they didn’t want to waste my time.  They sent me to a school to learn handwork.  That’s where I learned about Special Olympics.  I was an angry young man back then.  I could not accept my situation.  But one day I met Arnold Schwarzenegger when he came to South Africa for an event.  I told him my entire story, and he said: ‘Look here, I am the Terminator, but today I am your friend.  Listen to me.  You are not strong in academics, but that is just one thing.  It’s nothing to worry about.  You are a very strong man.  You can’t hate yourself for the rest of your life.  It is time for you to move on.’  From that moment I began to accept myself.  I now have everything in life except for academics.  I work hard.  I have a house.  I have a family.  I have a career as a soccer coach.  My son attends the same school where I work, and he’s very smart.  I make sure he does all his assignments.  When he struggles, I bring him to his teachers so they can lift him up.  I tell him: ‘Tumi, I never finished school.  But God is amazing.  He has made you strong where I am weak.’”
(Special Olympics World Games, Abu Dhabi, UAE)

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