Every day, Special Olympics Florida works to break-down barriers and stereotypes about people with intellectual disabilities. That’s why we should all celebrate nine-year-old Kayla Kosmalskin’s featured appearance on a Miami runway for a Gap fashion show. Kosmalskin, who has Down syndrome, was one of thirteen models featured. Read More
Every two years, Special Olympics athletes come together to compete at the Special Olympics World Games. This summer, over 6,500 athletes from 165 countries descended upon Los Angeles to show the true meaning of courage, joy and determination. Special Olympics Florida was proud to have 16 athletes represent the U.S.A. at this competition – competition that was only possible thanks to support from our biggest fans, volunteers, and donors like you. Read More
It’s still early at Higgs Beach in Key West, Florida as people begin to arrive. Volunteers are busy unloading boards and setting up tables and buoys for the stand-up paddle (SUP) board course. The sun is out and it’s perfect Florida Keys weather for a SUP race.
Last fall, that bright sunrise had given way to balmy weather with enough wind to create a light chop. But those few waves didn’t deter the nearly 100 Special Olympics athletes who were eager and laughing on the beach – their enthusiasm bubbling over, they’re prepped by their certified coaches who help them read the water.
In 2013, the Misso family relocated from Chicago to Lee County, Florida. Perry & Mickey’s daughter, Kara, had been involved with Special Olympics for 20+ years back home and they wanted to continue that tradition when they moved. So like many people do, they Googled Special Olympics Florida and found their local County Directory. When they asked how much it would be for Kara to join, they learned that no one is ever charged a fee to participate – from that moment they were all in with Special Olympics Florida.
Every two years, Special Olympics athletes come together to compete at the Special Olympics World Games. This summer, over 6,500 athletes from 165 countries will descend upon Los Angeles to show the true meaning of courage, joy and determination. Special Olympics Florida is proud to have 16 athletes represent the USA at this competition – below are their stories.
The Special Olympics USA Unified Soccer team from Florida huddled for their pregame chant, preparing to meet the team from China in their chance to earn the bronze medal. With a final chant, they took the field. The stands were packed and the excitement palpable throughout the duration of the game. The crowd never sat down cheering on both teams with tireless enthusiasm. It was a close game, and Special Olympics USA triumphed 4-2 over China but teamwork was the theme of the game. “I think we all did best at hustling after the ball,” said Sammy. The first goal was scored by Rufus and the next by Haley. The crowd went wild after each goal and the team embraced, all extremely proud of each other. “It was fun playing with my team, they’re my best friends,” said Rufus. After the win they ran with the American Flag flowing behind them and posed for picture after picture. “I love this,” said Hassan. “I never want it to end.”