Devoted to her son, dedicated to Special Olympics

Devotion to her son as only a mother can show shines through in Galina Bezrukowa.

A Mother's Devotion

Photo: Special Olympics athlete Stepan Bezukow and his mother Dr. Galina Bezukowa. Photographer: Martha Jo Braycich

A couple of pats with her hand and Galina Bezrukowa had quickly brushed her son’s Stepan’s hair in place with the expertise only a mother has when she wants her child to look nice - quickly.

Stepan, aged 30, had done well in the 50m snowshoe race and because he was happy, she was ecstatic. Bezukowa was one of approximately 30 family members who had traveled to the national competition in Murmansk, held 3-5 March 2012.

Bezrukowa is a medical doctor from Arzamas in western Russia. Her son has been involved in Special Olympics since 2005. She has travelled to Special Olympics World Games in China and Greece as well as to competitions throughout the Russian Federation on her own, just to be with her son.

On this trip, she was part of the Nizhny Novgorod Region delegation. Bezrukowa wants her son to enjoy all of the benefits that Special Olympics can offer. “In China Stepan was accommodated with athletes from Africa and Asia and he loved every moment of it. His world truly opened up – and he was part of it,” Bezukowa said.

Bezukowa said that 30 years ago times were difficult if one had a child with an intellectual disability but the situation had improved. She did not elaborate. Instead, she flashed a broad smile, wanting only to bask in the happiness of the moment with her son.

Bezukowa counsels 12 families in her community who have children with disabilities. Her own support over the years has come from her immediate and extended family totally 22 relatives who help care for Stepan. After Bezukowa left the track, Special Olympics Russia staff member Valery Antonov, said: “She is one of our unsung heroes. She is devoted to her son and to Special Olympics.”