Mutual Understanding

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Special Olympics Louisiana athlete Roy Menard (left) and Brian de La Puente of New Orleans Saints
Roy Menard, a Special Olympics Louisiana athlete from New Iberia, LA may not be able to hear the cheers and applause of his fans, but he can feel it. During the 2013 Special Olympics Louisiana State Summer Games); there was an unforgettable and touching moment between Roy Menard and New Orleans Saints Player, Brian de La Puente, who served as the Honorary Games Coach. While Roy was about to compete in a unified Volleyball competition, Brian visited the venue. Roy discovered that Brian knew American Sign Language and the two started to communicate. The excitement and expression on Roy’s face while communicating with a fellow athlete and Professional Football Player was heartwarming. Without Special Olympics they would have never had the opportunity to learn from one another. It really was an awesome moment to see, Roy’s face lit up when he saw that Brian could sign. He was practically jumping out of his skin with excitement. Brian was equally excited that he could connect with Roy.

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Currently, there are more than 13,500 Special Olympics athletes in Louisiana participating in more than 100 local and state level competitions each year!