Thirty years ago Javier was admitted to ¨Lo Barnechea¨ a special-ed school in Santiago de Chile. Javier was the smallest of all his classmates, very disorganized yet always smiling.
Lo Barnechea School participated frequently in Special Olympics’ activities, and so he quickly began to practice athletics. Javier´s breakthrough came in 1988 during the first National Ski Games in Loquimay, to the south of Chile, where he achieved first place. Javier participated and was successful in many events to follow, becoming Special Olympics Chile´s best skier. In 1991 he obtained first place at the regional games in Bariloche, Argentina. He obtained a silver medal at his second international event in Austria in 1993. Finally, in 1997 he obtained three gold medals playing unified sports in Canada.
In 1997 he was admitted to the Gardening Training school but he continued to work at the ski school as a coaches’ assistant and a close collaborator to the sport activities for Special Olympics Chile.
In 2006 after various coaches´ training sessions in Bocce, he travelled to serve as judge at the Regional Games in El Salvador. In 2012 Javier was named SO Chile´s Athlete Leader and as such, participated at the Regional Athlete Congress during the Central American Games in Panama. Most recently, he was selected to participate as a judge during Special Olympics’ Winter Games in Korea.
Thanks to Javier and his support with organizing the ski workshop, Special Olympics Chile can count on a workshop as part of the regular training offered in this sport which has resulted in making it possible to hold a national tournament every year. He serves at these tournaments as judge, accompanied by his coach and school professor Ms. Ximena Puelles. Javier´s work, perseverance, commitment to Special Olympics, his collaborative spirit which asks nothing in return, has allowed him, along with four others and his coach to participate as part of Chile´s delegation at the World Winter Games in Korea in the sport discipline of alpine ski.
About Claudia Echeverry: Director, Marketing and Communications