Carmina Lopez Shares How Special Olympics Has Impacted Her Life

By Alanna Castro

“I enjoy teaching others how to play and being able to communicate with them,” says Carmina Lopez a Special Olympics Southern California athlete. Carmina and her family got started with Special Olympics six years ago after taking a trip to Dowtown Disney where she met her current bowling coach, Amy, at a bowling alley. Bertha Lopez, Carmina’s mother described Special Olympics as a place where the athletes get to learn, play, and socialize with one another. Carmina mentioned that her favorite part about Special Olympics is being around other athletes and playing bocce and bowling with her friends. 

Bertha spoke about the challenges that come with being a parent to a child with Down Syndrome. “It’s very difficult to be a parent to someone with Down Syndrome because there are many ignorant people that don’t know what it means to have Down Syndrome,” she shared. Bertha and Carmina both expressed that the biggest challenge they’ve faced is proving to the outside world that Down Syndrome is normal and that those living with Down Syndrome should be treated equally. 

Carmina wants others to know that she respects everyone and wants the same in return, accepting her for who she is. She spends a lot of her time outside of Special Olympics with her family and she absolutely loves doing Zumba with her sister and mom. Zumba quickly became a hobby that she fell in love with. She plans to fuel her newfound passion of dance and fitness with Special Olympics. One of her goals is to offer Zumba classes with Special Olympics and to become an instructor so that she can teach her friends and other athletes the ins and outs of Zumba. 

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