Sunday, May 4, 2014

WWE Superstars and the Special Olympics NJ

We were presented a really awesome opportunity this week when Colin was invited to be a part of a special photo/video shoot with the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) and the Special Olympics of NJ.  The WWE signed on to be a founding partner of the 2014 USA games for the Special Olympics and will serve as the Official Production Partner of the games which is being hosted in NJ this June.   We were told that there would be a few WWE superstars who would play with the developmental basketball athletes and would then serve as honorary coaches for Team NJ Unified soccer teams as they competed against each other.  
We were honored that Colin was asked to participate and excited at the opportunity (Chris has been a big fan of the WWE since he was a boy).  We found out that the WWE superstars that would be attending would be The Big Show, 
Diva Natalya, 

Stephanie McMahon (which we didn't know until we got there), 

and one of the announcers, Renee (pictured at left with Natalya).  

When we arrived, we were given a run down of the schedule for the day but then were headed with the president of the SONJ to be introduced to someone that was there.  On the way, we passed The Big Show in the hallway and Colin went right up to him and shook his hand and was chatting a bit with him.  We weren't sure what Colin's reaction would be because he is 7'0 and over 400 lbs so we were pleasantly surprised that Colin warmed right up to him.  
We were then brought to the gym where Colin participated in developmental basketball with the team that was there, Miss Andrea, Coach Greg, and a lot of the other volunteers that were there to help.  

Colin did REALLY well following directions but started to tire out a little bit more at the end (and everything sort of got a little bit off schedule).  The superstars came in the gym to play with the Young Athletes for a bit before participating in their soccer game.  

Colin immediately went right to Renee and gave her a big hug. 

For the beginning part, Colin actually did really well playing with some of the superstars.  
However, they attempted to get a shot of The Big Show lifting Colin up in the air to make a basket.  Unfortunately, Colin got a little nervous during that, kept dropping the ball and then ran off to us saying he was all done.  

After repeated attempts, we had a really hard time getting Colin to get involved again.  It was really cute because The Big Show even kept coming over to me and asking us if he was Ok, concerned that he really scared him.  I thought that was so sweet.  


 He sort of regrouped a bit at the end and gave some hugs and kisses to the girls again before heading outside. 

Once outside, we watched the presentation of the superstars and the first half of the unified soccer game.  It took Colin awhile to regroup but once he did, he finished out the day pretty strong.  At halftime, they had the Young Athletes out on the field to present the superstars with sweatshirts for the day and then had them participate in penalty kicks with The Big Show as goalie. 

When Colin saw who was in goal, he immediately started looking for us again, but Coach Greg (aka, the Miracle Worker), got Colin to start running to kick the ball and then let him finish on his own. 

Colin was so excited that he scored and then much to our surprise, turned around on his own and ran right over to the Big Show and gave him a big hug.  

He said his goodbyes and gave out hugs to Renee and Natalya before leaving...

All in all, it was a really awesome and exciting day (despite our disappointment at Colin's difficulties with the one "big shot" that they attempted).  We are even more excited at the fact that these superstars came out to support the Special Olympic athletes today. 

Much thanks to the Special Olympics of NJ, the 2014 USA games, WWE, The Big Show, Natalya, Renee and Stephanie!  We are grateful for all you do to support our Special Olympic athletes!

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