By Justin Udo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Special Olympics Pennsylvania was welcoming eight new members to its Hall of Fame today. This morning, they were inducted into the hall with a cermony here in Philadelphia.
Special Olympics Pennsylvania greeted its 2014 class by hosting a breakfast with champions at the Sheraton Hotel, on 16th Street near Race, in center city.
Matt Aaron, the president and CEO of Special Olympics Pennsylvania, says the superb leadership abilities of this year’s group is really unique.
“We’re here today to honor four athletes and four volunteers who have been instrumental to the success of Special Olympics for many, many years,” he said.
Ernie Christopher of Cumberland County has been a volunteer with the Special Olympics for 28 years. What started as a small coaching project in Carlisle, Pa. has taken him around the world.
“I went to Greece in 2014,” he said. “I went to national games and countless state games. I never thought this would go this far, and it’s always going to be part of my life.”
Derek Eshenour has been competing in the games for the last 32 years, and lists just some of the more than ten events he has competed in:
“Short track, speed skating, soccer, and roller skating.”
He says he’s never forgotten why he takes part in the Special Olympics.
“It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, but it does matter if you do your best,” he said today. “And it does matter to have fun!”
For more information about some of the other inductees and about upcoming Special Olympics Pennsylvania events, go to www.specialolympicspa.org.