Heard at the Games

Former South African President Nelson Mandela speaks at the Global Youth Summit in Dublin, Ireland. Behind Mandela is Andrew Royal, a Scholastic News Online student reporter, Special Olympic athlete, and member of the Global Summit. Andrew, 17, is from Missouri. (Photo Julian Cole, Julian Cole Photography)
"Few things in life give me greater pleasure than being associated with the Special Olympics."
Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa at the opening ceremonies of the World Games in Dublin, Ireland, on June 21

"There is nothing that is perfect in the world, and as an imperfect person, you have no right to discriminate."
Special Olympic volunteer to Global Youth Summit member Yibiao Guo, 19, of China

"I am not going for a medal, I am going for my personal best. If I win a medal, it's a bonus."
—Australian athlete Suzanne O'Moore to Scholastic News Online reporters from South Africa during an interview on June 22

"What I've experienced today is people connecting through their deeds, gestures, hopes. I think that is the story of the Special Olympics."
Sean Dorman, volunteer in charge of the Global Youth Summit

"I have the luckiest job in the world. I meet with people who have had hard lives who are so joyful. It helps me connect with the strongest part of myself."
Nelson Mandela, at a forum with the Global Youth Summit, when asked by Sura Talal Gbazal, 16, how he has dealt with disabled people in his life.

"Thank you for coming here. You are a survivor. And congratulations for getting out of jail."
Ryan Atkinson, 15, Alaska and Global Youth Summit member, to Nelson Mandela after Mandela explained that he was imprisoned for 27 years for fighting apartheid, a government polict that made blacks second class citizens in their own country. Mandela became the first black President of South Africa after his release from prison.

"We are going to learn something, and when we leave here we are going to go out and make a difference in someone's life."
Maria Shriver at the MTV taping at Dublin City University on June 23. She was speaking to the Global Youth Summit members and local elementary school students who attended the taping.

"This is a call to action, to make a difference in your school. I challenge you to go out and make a difference. You'll be leaders when you leave here."
Maria Shriver, warming up the crowds at the MTV taping of the Global Youth Summit on June 23.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for them.... They are really blossoming here because they are experiencing what freedom of the mind really is. They are experiencing the clothing, the weather, and learning about their health. It is a great opportunity for them to experience this feeling."
Nasrullah Ibrahimzay, leader of the Special Olympics athletes competing from Afghanistan, to Scholastic News Online student reporters Kamna Prem, 13 and Mira Chandra, 12. The five children from Afghanistan, ages 10 to 13, are all orphans. Afghanistan is competing in the games for the first time in history. By Tuesday, when the interview occurred, they had already received three gold medals in different relays.

"I am working for Afghanistan, whether for disabilities or for reconstruction. It is the cause of Afghanistan that I am working for. I am a student here. I am learning who [the disabled] are. I am enjoying it. These kids are innocent and they have no one to help them."
Nasrullah Ibrahimzay