“Take their path, you could learn from them and try to challenge yourself.”
While the Winter Olympics may have concluded, the lessons we glean from such competitions endure far longer than the games themselves do. Though Arnold Schwarzenegger may be long removed from his days as the world’s preeminent bodybuilder, his response to a troll dismissive of the Special Olympics continues to serve as a powerful message that such contests are about far more than winning.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was enjoying some free time after his Celebrity Apprentice hosting duties came to an abrupt end. First on his agenda was his role as Special Olympics ambassador. He made the trip to his home country of Austria for this year’s World Winter Games and spent some time with Team Ireland’s ski squad, which has netted an impressive eight medals in their events.
The action icon-turned-politician made plenty of time for photos with the competitors.
Photo via China Photos/Getty Images.
He also posted a Snapchat to his Facebook page with the simple, endearing caption, “These guys inspire me!”
Unfortunately, one troll wondered aloud how hosting disabled athletes in their own competition runs counter to the Olympic ideal of pitting the best in the world against each other. Rather than ignore the post, which referred to Special Olympics athletes as “retards,” Schwarzenegger tactfully explained why these athletes are admirable to his followers. The original comment was deleted along with Arnie’s response, but Reddit user menwithrobots snagged a screenshot.
Schwarzenegger’s reasoned response was, all at once, kind, measured, and brutally honest. Looks like Arnie was inspired by those Olympians sooner than we realized.