VIDEO: Whole school cheers as girl returns from Special Olympics

Friday, March 31, 2017 09:46AM
An 8-year-old girl with Down syndrome received a special welcome back from her entire school.

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. - An 8-year-old girl with Down syndrome received a special welcome home from her entire school after participating in the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria last week.

As Taylor Carpenter walked into Grange Hall Elementary on Monday, students lined the hallways with a standing ovation, offering high-fives and hugs along the way.

Taylor's dad, Michael Carpenter, caught the heartwarming moment on video as he walked through the school behind her.

"This is inclusion. This is community. This is love," he wrote on Facebook. "Words cannot express the feeling the love, the joy, the pride, the friendship displayed and represented in the video that represents part of Taylor's school welcoming her home...celebrating her accomplishment, her journey, and most importantly her."

Taylor's community in Chesterfield County, Virginia, has a lot to be proud of. Taylor won the silver medal for her solo dance performance. She is also the youngest competitor in the Special Olympics' world dance competition, according to her father.

During the welcome back celebration, Carpenter told WLS-TV his daughter was thrilled to see her friends again and said of the celebration, "That's for me!" before making sure he had brought along the presents for her friends from her journey.
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