Hometown Champions

March 23, 2011

Meet Melissa, Scott, and Christopher – their stories are testaments to the power of sport. Do you know champions in your hometown?  Send us their stories.  Email@specialolympics.org

Melissa Reilly and Tim Shriver Link hands after Melissa received her medal

Being an athlete has increased Melissa Reilly’s confidence.

Meet Melissa Reilly

Melissa Reilly was born with Down syndrome. Instead of letting her life’s challenges hold her back, she confronts them head-on and turns them into dreams. Melissa enjoys training and competing in swimming, biking, running and skiing. Being an athlete has increased Melissa’s confidence. She prides herself on being equal to her peers and has strived for inclusion her entire life.

She was fully included in public education since kindergarten and is taking courses at a community college. She keeps a busy schedule and is currently interning for at her state senate office.   When not at school or training for her next competition, Melissa works to give back to Special Olympics as a Global Messenger, representing the organization at public events and sharing her story. Melissa and her family are grateful to Special Olympics for the incredible impact the organization has made on Melissa’s life.


Scott Merrill

Participation in sports has greatly enhanced all aspects of Scott Merrill’s life.

Meet Scott Merrill

Scott Merrill has been part of Special Olympics for over 15 years.  He works hard to fine-tune his skills in bowling and golf in hopes of doing his best in local, state and national competitions. Experiencing success on the links and in the bowling alley has made Scott a more confident and independent individual as well as an outstanding citizen in his hometown.

When he is not out on the golf course or at the local lanes, Scott can be found working as a bagger at a grocery store. He enjoys this experience because it gives him a chance to demonstrate that he is a hard worker while also meeting new people and seeing familiar faces. He is well known on and off the field for his pleasant personality and exceptional work ethic. Participation in sports has greatly enhanced all aspects of Scott’s life.

He is thankful to have opportunities that make him healthy, strong, confident, capable and independent. Although Scott has many years of training and competing under his belt, he knows that it is only the beginning and that many more years of sports await him in the future.


Christopher Shows his medals

Christopher Drewniak credits Special Olympics with helping him gain confidence and a healthier lifestyle.

Meet Christopher Drewniak

Christopher Drewniak has a few unique speed bumps to overcome on a daily basis, but he faces them with courage and determination. Christopher credits Special Olympics with helping him gain confidence and a healthier lifestyle.  Since joining he has participated in basketball, bocce, bowling, golf and soccer.  Christopher applies the dedication and drive he has developed as an athlete to all aspects of his life.

He is a high school student and exhibits discipline in his studies.  He is a member of the National Honor Society and keeps busy with afterschool activities.  Christopher is also involved in his community and church. Christopher is grateful for moments where he is able to demonstrate what he can accomplish not only in sports competitions but also in daily life and for the ability to be included with his peers.


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