Lions punter Sam Martin along with his Spouse, former Olympic gymnast Nastia Liukin, enjoyed volunteering at the Special Olympics World Games at Abu Dhabi. 

Sam Martin stepped up to the podium at Abu Dhabi, ribbon at Hand. Infront of him, the athletes were there, waiting. They had come from all over the world to compete . The Detroit Lions punter, halfway across the world watching athletes that were mostly not familiar with the game he plays, was going to offer them their awards.

It sounds like a little thing. It was anything but. It turned out into something that’s going to stick with Martin for ever.

Martin walked up to the original girl, a competitor from El Salvador, and gave her the eighth-place decoration on her work onto the ground exercise.

She didn’t triumph. It didn’t matter. With the Special Olympics, it is just as much about the travel as the result.

“You could only tell how happy and proud she was,” Martin said. “That, without a doubt, is something — and that I was blessed enough to set away a few ribbons across her neck, and she was only the most adorable young girl, and that I was just so happy and so pleased and didn’t care if she ended first or 100th.

“She’d the best time, you can tell she was so happy in what she achieved. There’s a lot of correlation to merely life in general that the inspiration they provide is just amazing.”

They were there to offer assistance and also be described as a face for that soul of addition within athletics and in life.

For Martin, who’d been training for the 2019 NFL season in Jupiter, Florida, this was a welcome break from his football training, letting him work well with a company he first supported at senior school.

He joined with the Games for Liukin, whom he is newly dating. She achieved and asked him if he wished to move. He said he would, but he wished to be much more involved compared to a spectator. Martin stated Liukin worked it out with Special Olympics.

Being a football player, he never imagined walking at the Opening Ceremonies of an Olympic Games.

She didn’t have a chance to walk during the Beijing games, and this really was an initial on her as well.

“It was fantastic to get to accomplish that. It’s hard to describe,” Martin said. “Obviously, running out of a tunnel for a soccer match and material, you get that kind of feel, but it was simply being at the center of all these athletes and their energy, it was a moving experience.

“You kind of are, like, at a trance nearly. It was amazing.”

Martin heard that Pittsburgh corner-back Joe Haden would hold a soccer practice to introduce football to athletes that had never played the game. They worked with athletes out of Puerto Rico and the United Arab Emirates, setting them through stations and warm-up drills. They certainly were basic drills to the NFL players, but it was a means to improve exposure for the game and bring joy to the athletes.

That, more than that else, stuck outside to Martin. The trip provided him a reminder of what sports could perform and linking him to working with those who face different intellectual struggles. While he has worked with some organizations in the Detroit area in the past, his trip created enough of a tug for him to reach outside to work well with Special Olympics if he came back to the USA.

Martin said cutting funding could be”tragic because I saw firsthand what this financing is currently providing.” He saw the chances given, the happiness provided, the addition with unified sports which can help bridge the understanding athletes are athletes and this program links them all together.

Being reminded Martinin a sense, of why he started playing sports at the first place.

“Where this will come from is just such a good place,” Martin said. “Along with the athletes ‘ are just extremely appreciative, plus it’s really justthey are inspiring and motivating. I left the Games feeling really — it merely opens your eyes to what’s essential in life.

“And makes you love what usually get over looked “


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