Patients at The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital held an opening ceremony today to celebrate the start of the 23rd Winter Olympics. Patients spent the week learning the history of the Olympics, the unique sporting events and what being an Olympian represents.
Staff encouraged the patients to work toward their goals much like Olympians. “The Olympics brings together the best athletes from around the world to compete and represent their country. We strive to bring out the best in our patients and always encourage them to be the best they can be,” said Kelli Johnson, occupational therapist, The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital.
The patients made an Olympic torch and paraded it through the Hospital’s short-term unit, while music therapists provided a musical backdrop. Winter Olympian, Mike Aljoe, served as the guest of honor. Aljoe was a member of the U.S. Men’s Two-Man Bobsled Team 1 that competed in the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. Aljoe shared his experiences about the sport of bobsledding and his position on the team.
“It was such a humbling experience being here, those kids were amazing to meet and I had so much fun talking to them about my time in the Olympics,” said Aljoe. “Being able to share my story and answer their questions was something that I wont forget.” Patients created artwork incorporating the five Olympic rings and presented it to Aljoe thanking him for being the guest of honor.
“This was a special day for our patients. They loved learning about the Olympics and were so excited they got to meet an Olympian. We hope this teaches them to keep working towards their goals and they can achieve whatever they want in life,” said Dusti Hill, special education teacher, The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital.