Willkommen! 97 Special Olympic athletes from Team Germany arrived at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s Los Angeles thrift store July 22, 2015 for a welcome celebration of free food, dancing, and fun. The German and American flags were held high by volunteers as the athletes came out of their bus and walked between rows of applauding fans to their tables.
After getting dinner from the Habit food truck, the athletes sat with coaches and volunteers for hamburgers and conversation. Andi, an athlete on the German cyclist team, said, “I have never been to America. I like it. It is fun.”
After taking the final bite of his burger, Andi joined many of the other athletes who were already dancing. The live DJ set a happy and energetic tone for the night. Kristoff, one of the German athletes on the dance floor, stopped dancing to whisper, “I love American music,” with a smile that never left his face. The St. Vincent de Paul Society happily welcomed Team Germany to Lincoln Heights and will be cheering them on at the Special Olympics.
As one of the banners stated, “If you tire running with your legs, run with your heart.”
By Jessica Legaspi