What started as a simple interaction and discussion about leadership between Tampa Bay Buccaneers star quarterback Jameis Winston and Special Olympics Florida athlete Jacob Sare, quickly turned into a moment of a lifetime for several dozen Special Olympics athletes.
It spread through the crowd like wildfire: “Can you hear it?” The “it” was the distant sound of sirens. This sound can often provoke unsettling emotions in people, but this time, it sent 4,000 athletes, coaches, volunteers, and spectators into a state of nearly unbearable anticipation.
Stacy is an exceptional Special Olympics Florida athlete who thrives through sports training and competition, as well as Athlete Leadership training programs.
Special Olympics Florida is celebrating its 45th anniversary in 2017. As we look back, we can see how our organization has not only grown, but has also been a powerful voice for people with intellectual disabilities in Florida for almost half a century.
In celebration of Black History Month, Special Olympics Florida will be recognizing the achievements of one African American athlete each week in February. The second athlete is Tajha from Immokalee, Florida.
In celebration of Black History Month, Special Olympics Florida will be recognizing the achievements of one African American athlete each week in February. The first athlete is Kenyatta Johnson, the Special Olympics Florida 2016 Athlete of the Year.
As December 31st draws near, it is clear this has been a year of transformational impact for Special Olympics Florida. Our athletes are succeeding on and off the playing field and have a bigger stage than ever to showcase their abilities. Here are just a few of the highlights from 2016.
Competition and training are at the core of Special Olympics. It’s through sports that our athletes realize their potential and become champions. At Special Olympics Florida, we now serve 30,000 athletes statewide, a record only possible thanks to the families, volunteers and donors whose shared belief in revealing champions makes our movement possible. As we celebrate 2015, I want to personally thank everyone who has dedicated their talents to helping our grassroots movement grow. Read More
Within Special Olympics there are Athlete Leaders who have taken responsibility for acting as the voice of Special Olympics within their community. Athlete Leaders are an important part of the Special Olympics movement. Through sports they are empowered to share their passion with others. Special Olympics Florida has nearly 300 Athlete Leaders, including Malcom from St. Lucie County, Florida. Malcom has a goal of becoming an official sportscaster and has written about some of his favorite experiences with the hope that other athletes will be inspired by his journey.
My Name is Malcom Harris-Gowdie and I am an Athlete Leader from St. Lucie County, Florida. My experience as an Athlete Leader has been amazing. I have gotten to attend Global Messenger Training at WESH-TV studios in Orlando to do a PSA and be interviewed by news anchor Jim Payne. Athlete Leaders also learn how important it is to be a fundraiser, attend trainings and to get involved in Athlete Congress. Being an Athlete Leader has helped me with confidence and learning how to have a voice on issues that affect the athlete population in Special Olympics Florida. Read More
It has been another transformational quarter for our organization. We started the summer by cheering for 16 of our athletes competing at the global level representing the USA at the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles. The world watched as our athletes achieved their personal best and shared moments of celebration throughout the competition. The ESPN broadcast was seen by over 20.16 million people in the US and by another 1.8 million online, as ESPN’s website also helped to amplify the games through digital and social media.
Our summer sports, including Stand-Up Paddle, Surfing, Golf and Aquatics, were filled with many more new opportunities and new faces. Athlete participation was up 9% overall in these sports, growth supported by our incredible 2,270 coaches statewide. We hosted State Stand-Up Paddle competition in a new watersports venue on Florida’s West Coast, Nathan Benderson Park, and celebrated our tenth year of aquatics competition at the North County Aquatics Center in South Florida. Once again our friends at Ron Jon, Disney and the Indian River Recreational department did a fabulous job providing engaging volunteers and sharing their industry knowledge to enhance our summer competitions. A special thank you to all the county directors, coaches, program team and head of delegations for your leadership – we couldn’t do it without you! Read More