The Special Olympics Were

From Ferocious Inline Skaters to Ace Ping-Pong Players, a Look Back at the Year's Largest Sports Gathering

by Steve Hymon

After work last Tuesday, I went to the University of Southern California to photograph swimming events at the Special Olympics World Games. I was fiddling with my camera when I heard some cheering at the tail end of a freestyle relay event.

All but one of the teams had finished the race. A lone swimmer from Slovenia was in the middle of the pool, treading water. Instead of finishing his lap, he turned around to get out.

But people in the stands and poolside volunteers motioned for him to …