LOS ANGELES, July 27 (UPI) -- Before he was blazing down the field of Arrowhead Stadium, Jamaal Charles was showcasing himself in the Special Olympics.
Charles, 28, gave a very motivational speech at Saturday's opening ceremony. Charles, who had a learning disability as a child, competed and won the gold medal in track and field as a special olympics athlete. Charles would also go on to make the Big 12's second-team all-academic squad at the University of Texas.
"I was afraid," Charles said. "I was lost. When I was a boy, I had trouble reading. I found out I had a learning disability. People made fun of me. They said I would never go anywhere. But I learned I can fly. When I was 10 years old, I had the chance to compete in the Special Olympics. That's right — the Special Olympics gave me my first chance to discover a talent I did not know I had."
Charles gave the brief speech before leading the large crowd in the athlete oath.
"Let me win," Charles said. "But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."
Charles has 6,856 rushing yards and 38 rushing touchdowns. He has piled up 9,122 yards from scrimmage in 95 career games.