Matt English: Ten years on, our nation's Olympian feat remains special
'Let me win but if I cannot win let me be brave in the attempt." Nowhere is the message of the oath taken by Special Olympics athletes better understood than here in Ireland.
In June 2003, Ireland hosted the Special Olympics World Summer Games. It was the largest event to be held in the world that year, the biggest sporting or cultural event to ever take place in Ireland, and the first time a Special Olympics World Games was staged outside of the US.
For those two weeks in late June, this country was captivated and inspired by the courage and skills demonstrated by Special Olympic athletes who had travelled here from more than 160 countries. Nothing could have prepared me for the incredible welcome the athletes, their families, and coaches received when they arrived in Ireland. I was proud and privileged to be a part of it.