Grammy award winning country music singer Jo Dee Messina is in Ames as a special ambassador for the Special Olympics National Games.
Messina says she got involved with Special Olympics by accident while in Florida. She was in Florida for a concert and out on her morning run when she saw signs for the Special Olympics. Messina says she followed the signs to the competition and felt there should be more people watching the events. She asked to help and Special Olympics named her an ambassador.
Messina says she loves spreading the message about the athletes. “They’re just the most amazing people,” she says. Messina says the Special Olympic athletes are not a sad story, they’re the story of overcoming adversity and triumph. “It’s really the purest sense of athleticism,” according to the country star.
Messina says we can learn a lesson from the way the Special Olympic athletes compete. “Their competition is about being the best they can be, it’s not about tearing everybody else down,” she says. That’s the way sports are meant to be, according to Messina.
Messina will give a concert at tonight’s closing ceremony.
She’ll sing a couple of songs that Messina says she feels are appropriate for the event and afterwards Messina will give a concert just for the volunteers.
Messina has had eight number one singles and was the first female country artist to have three multiple-week number one songs from the same album. Her number one songs include “Bye-Bye”, “I’m Alright” and “Stand Beside Me.”
The closing ceremonies are at 7:30 tonight at Hilton Coliseum.