Its was a beautiful morning at the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center in Pasadena, CA. Also, it was a very exciting morning because we saw our first adaptive water sports clinics. It's a very impressive facility, built as a result of the last LA Olympic competition. The clinic was outdoors using one of their two Olympic size pools and an adjunct therapy pool. This had to be the perfect location for Angel City Sports' adaptive swimming and scuba diving clinics. Angel City Sports teamed up with Diveheart.org, based out of Illinois, for the dive clinic. It is hard to wrap my head around the idea of seeing these physically handicapped sportsmen being more active and daring than a lot of people with no physical handicaps. Watching para-athletes is amazing. They always exhibit focus, dedication, and tenacity. I have never seen any fear in their faces.
I love the interaction with these para-athletes. The hard part for me is to ask about their personal situations without stepping on an open sore. The good thing is most of the time they voluntarily offer stories about how they became handicapped. Sitting around the table at the aquatic center listening to them talk is like being with my Special Forces A-Team talking about our stories. Sometimes you want to laugh and sometimes you struggle to hold back the tears. It's not like a TV show that has been edited. Just the real, raw facts.
The volunteers for this clinic have their own stories. Also, these guys are professional in their field and know how to handle anything that might come up. And I'm assuming they don't charge a single penny for their work. On the other hand, the equipment used to conduct these clinics is very expensive. As for the facilities, I don't think they are free to Angel City, although I don't know for sure. My point is that this is a major undertaking for Angel City in a real monetary way.
Jaime & Cameron Robles