We just caught Michael Franti's blog post on his shows in Idaho to benefit the Special Olympics. Franti played benefit shows in Boise and in Sun Valley.
It was a huge honor and fantastic fun to play at the 2009 Special Olympic Winter Games in Sun Valley, Idaho. I want to give a big shout out to all the athletes; organizers and volunteers who have continued this journey dedicated to making all people feel special and included. It was a huge community effort and I was particularly moved by receiving a hand knitted blue and white scarf (the Special Olympic colors) from a fan at the show in Boise. Organizers of the event had called to the people of Idaho to make 5000 scarves for the athletes and their families by the time the opening ceremonies began they had received 55,000!!!Franti goes on to say his thumb is still numb from playing the outdoor pavilion at Sun Valley and talks about his visit with the athletes.
When I put it on the next morning I felt the stitching with my fingertips and thought wow someone stayed up late in the night, like my mother did when I was a kid, stitching this scarf for a complete stranger and now those hours are wrapped around my neck (and voice) keeping me warm.
The Special Olympics just released an initial list of dignitaries attending the games:
Vivian Fernández de Torrijos, First Lady of Panama; Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Amina of Morocco; Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa); Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho); Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter (Idaho); Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (California); Maria Shriver, First Lady of California; Vanessa Williams, Actress/Musician; Tom Arnold, Actor/Comedian; Johnny Knoxville, Actor/Comedian; Mariel Hemingway, Actress; Darius Rucker, Musician/Artist; Kenny G., Musician/Artist; Scott Glenn, Actor; Lt. Andy Baldwin, TV Personality (ABC “The Bachelor”); Scott Hamilton, Olympic Figure Skater; Bart Conner, Olympic Gymnast; Nadia Comaneci, Olympic Gymnast; Donna de Verona, Olympic Swimmer; Sam Perkins, Former NBA Star; Lucas Radebe, South African football player; Teófilo Cubillas, Peruvian football player, Billy Kidd, Olympic Skier; Casey FitzRandolph, Olympic Speedskater; Carly Patterson, Olympic Gymnast/Singer; Kristi Yamaguchi, Olympic Figure Skater...Any suggestions on who BW should interview during the games? First Lady of Panama? Teófilo? Or perhaps, Nadia Comaneci?
A letter from the Dalai Lama's office that just came across the citydesk indicates that an invitation to attend the Special Olympics World Games opening ceremonies in Boise next month was withdrawn.
"This invitation was still open when the Dalai Lama unfortunately decided he could not attend. Although regrettable, we respect this decision and hope that this inspirational leader will be able to celebrate Special Olympics with us at a future event."