Ryutaro at Kadena’s Special Olympics

Kadena Air Base. The feedback was, across the board, warm and heartening as this special event builds a relationship not just within a community but a great opportune bonding experience between Japanese locals and Americans, of mostly military personnel.


More importantly, it is a day that showcases the wide abilities of special need people. They all did whatever sports they were set out to particate in. They all did it with so much enthusiasm, willingness and lively presence. Supporters, volunteers and motivators couldn’t help but be gladdened by their smiles and positive spirits.


I now introduce to you, #577, Ryutaro.

He’s a stubby 7-year old kid who has no problem reaching for my hand so I can show him around.

We saw creative arts made by special-need children.


We watched cultural performances by both Japanese and Americans.


Marine Expeditionary Force Band playing the National Anthem.


Special-need boys playing taiko drums.

The variety of performances is a true fusion of two countries meshing together their differences and likeness.


American students, Firebird Drummers, performing Eisa. They also got everyone involved to try the drum and dance with them.

We saw people danced while they’re in the wheelchair.


I actually think that the shows and the rapport made are the “special” parts, and not the participating olympians.

Clearly, these special-need group of individuals needed no special attention at all. I’m completely amazed by them. Us, “huggers”, needed no patience in taking care of them. They were obedient, orderly, and certainly capable.


Look! Ryutaro is so happy. Those smiles can definitely turn the world around.


-My special kid is better than yours. Darn right, he’s better than yours. I can teach you but I have to charge. 🙂 –

At times, I didn’t feel like they are special people at all. They are just incredibly friendly. The way they answer to their parents is so impressive. They walk with you. They play with you. No problem at all. Ryutaro even helped me fold the mat that we were sitting on without asking him. To emphasize, they really are very obedient. We all thoroughly enjoyed the day at each other’s companies.

This event tugs my heart deeply.

“Disability”, i confidently can tell you that I didn’t see any that day.


[All images are taken with my cellphone, Samsung S3.]


Featured Blog

Here’s to a blogger who does excellent “phoneography” alongside her Canon pictures. When I met AngelineM, I was easy to befriend her. She’s an all around blogger, prolific and very approachable. Go and check out her phoneography tag and be impressed by her snapping abilities.


Categories: events, Japan

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40 replies »

    • We all did. We all did. Some of them thought it’d be awkward taking care of other people’s special-need family members, but it was not the case at all. They were completely jovial.

  1. Thank you so much for featuring my blog! This post of yours tugs at my heart strings as well. Thanks for introducing us to Ryutaro! This looks like it was a fantastic day for everyone.

    • It was only a matter of time, and timing, that I feature your blog. I asked around. I don’t think they answered with BS. I really think everyone had a great time.

    • I know right! I get to freeze the runners, and the performers in mid air!!! I can definitely bring my phone over my big camera and be confident that I’ll be able to take decent shots.

  2. What a heart-warming post, Rommel! Love Ryutaro’s smile. Such is a meaningful and fun way to spend a day 🙂 Thank you for sharing the event and photos with us!

  3. wow – great phone camera shots, Rommel! how adorable is Ryutaro – oo, just want to run over and hug him! sometimes i think these people are normal and we are the disabled folks. really. thank you for sharing this moment and Angeline’s blog. ♥

    • We are the disable folks. You do not want to run over him. You’ll just bounce back and regret what you did. 😀 I kid, Sunshine. He is a very cuddly kid.

  4. My nephew and niece are special needs, but I don’t call them that. I call them Exceptionally Exceptional. Because they truly are. Rommel, this piece warmed my heart (and it’s cold here!). I love the smiles of these beautiful children and the loved ones too. I got to be part of a Downs Syndrome Buddy Walk a few weeks ago. This reminds me of that. A very incredible experience. And humbling too…

  5. This post was near and dear to my heart Rommel, as this was my field of study in school and the field in which I worked for several years before getting into corporate life. Working in special ed was the most rewarding job I ever had. I spent many years volunteering at Special Olympic games. It does not surprise me one iota that this event tugged at your heartstrings. I knew from the first time I visited your site that you were a special young man and you confirmed that when I met you. 🙂

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