Special Olympics athlete sings "The Star-Spangled Banner" at a baseball game.
Stefan Xidas made a dream come true when he stepped up to the pitch at Wrigley Field to sing the national anthem in front of 40,000 fans.
30-year-old Xidas has Down syndrome and has taken on the challenges of his condition with incredible energy.
An ardent Chicago Cubs' fan, Xidas had always wanted to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the legendary baseball team's home pitch, and on the September 11, 208, he did it.
The video of his performance was posted on Youtube by the Chicago Cubs and is quickly going viral.
“This is my shining moment right here. It’s been the best time I’ve ever had in my whole life.”
Stefan Xida, LittleThings.com, September 11, 2018.
Xida won his chance at the microphone by sending a letter to the Cub’s owner asking for the opportunity to sing if he was able to raise $5,000 on GoFundme for the Special Olympics.
Thomas S. "Tom" Ricketts agreed, and Xida exceeded all expectations by raising over $18,000 — which the Cubs then matched and donated to the Special Olympics' fund.
The Special Olympics was established for children and adults with intellectual disabilities and involves 5 million athletes and Unified States Sports partners in 172 countries.
Xida competes in the Special Olympics in tennis and will be participating in the 2019 event to take place in March 2019 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
XIda was cheerful and smiling as he waited to walk into the field to sing the national anthem.
He said he was confident since he had practiced singing it many times. He told reporters that he had had some tea and was now ready to face the 40,000 fans waiting in the stadium.
Xida declared that he was confident that the Cubs would be going to the playoffs, and win.He is planning on traveling to see his team win the cup.
The history of the “The Star-Spangled Banner” begins on September 14, 1814, when Francis Scott Key composed the lyrics for the anthem after witnessing the British bombardment of Fort McHenry in Maryland during the War of Independence.
“The Star-Spangled Banner” was regarded as the national anthem by the U.S. armed forces since then, but it was not until March 3, 1916, that President Woodrow Wilson signed an executive order making it official.
In a related story, Meat Loaf's moving rendition of the “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the 65th MLB All-Star Game in Pittsburg is still considered definitive 20 years later.
December 20, 2018