During the 2015 World Summer Games in Los Angeles, Clara Phiri represented Special Olympics Malawi in 200m and 100m, winning two gold medals with times of 31:80 and 15:19!
The American company Finish Line, a retail chain stocking the world’s top sports brands, were so impressed with her achievements they used this photo as the headline of their Special Olympics annual fundraising campaign, “Spread Unstoppable Joy”. This was posted across 660 stores in 47 states, including Macy’s stores.
Clara had cerebral malaria as a child, from which she developed an intellectual disability. Malaria has the biggest burden on children aged five and under in Africa.
However, once she joined her local Special Olympics program in Karonga district she went from strength to strength both physically in the sports of athletics and netball, and in the Athlete Leadership program as a fitness instructor. This athlete leader’s dreams are still big and she hopes to one day complete her tertiary education.