It has struck our house big time. We ordered up the local channels from our TV provider for the express purpose of recording and watching as much Olympic coverage as possible. It has been amusing to introduce our children to the wonders of winter sports. The toddlers giggled like maniacs while watching the luge competition. They were transfixed by figure skating. Our oldest daughter thought it was pretty amazing that four people can all snowboard the same course at the same time (me, too) and wanted to know if roller skates could work on the ice, too. She doesn't have ice skates, you see.
There have been a couple of touching moments for those in the special needs community. I was glad to see Rick Hansen, a paralympic athlete, included in the torch lighting ceremony, though disappointed he was not one of the official lighters. I also enjoyed the story of Alexandre Bilodeau who won Canada's first gold medal on home soil in Men's Freestyle Skiing. He draws a lot of inspiration from his older brother, Frederic, who is affected by cerebral palsy.
With these advocates on the big screen there is a whole network of people that work tirelessly all year long with somewhat less fanfare, though their name is well known. The Special Olympics provides excellent opportunities for individuals with special needs to find something they can excel at. There are a lot of fundraising opportunities for The Special Olympics. Each local organization does their own fundraising. I've read of Polar Bear Plunges in Utah and Celebrity Ski Weekends in Nevada. There are a lot of other ways to get involved, too. With the spotlight on Vancouver in 2010 I can't think of a better time to check it out and see what you can do.