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Laura Valverde, Special Olympics Board of Directors; International Advisory Committee Latin America Representative; Executive Director of Special Olympics Costa Rica

Laura Valverde

Board of Directors

Laura Valverde Gómez, born on April 13th, 1980, originally trained as an architect, found her true passion in dedicating herself to the Special Olympics movement. Her calling for Special Olympics became her primary focus and purpose in life. She is also a proud mother to Luciano, daughter to Carlos and Patricia, and sister to Gabriela and Carlos, who have been her steadfast supporters throughout her journey.

Her life journey has been deeply rooted in the values of compassion, inclusion, and empowerment. From a young age, Laura has been driven by a strong desire to make a positive impact on the lives of others, inspired by the example set by her father. It was her father who first introduced her to the Special Olympics movement at the age of 18, recognizing the importance of providing opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities. His passion and dedication ignited something within her, leading her to become deeply involved in the cause.

Over the past 26 years, Laura's commitment to Special Olympics has only grown stronger. As a volunteer, she has had the privilege of witnessing firsthand the transformative power of sports in the lives of athletes with intellectual disabilities. She started as a volunteer in the Athlete Leadership program and has since held various roles within the organization, including the Young Athletes and Healthy Athletes programs, before finding her place in competition management. Guided by values of respect, integrity, and equality, she has dedicated herself to creating opportunities for these athletes to thrive and succeed.

In 2005, Laura had the honor of representing Costa Rica as part of the first delegation to participate in a World Winter Games in Nagano, Japan. This experience sparked a passion within her to advocate for the inclusion of athletes with intelectual disabilities on a global stage. Since then, she has played a key role in coordinating the participation of Costa Rican athletes in international events, serving as Head of Delegation for Special Olympics competitions around the world.

In 2008, Laura had the honor of serving as the Director of the first Central American Special Olympics Games, a historic sporting event that reflects her unwavering dedication to promoting inclusion through sports.

In her professional career, Laura has strived to embody the same values of inclusion and empowerment. In 2022, she was honored to be appointed Executive Director of Special Olympics Costa Rica, where she continues to advocate for the rights and dignity of individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Looking ahead, Laura's goal is to continue leveraging her skills and experience to drive positive change in the lives of individuals with disabilities. She aspires to expand access to inclusive sports programs, promote greater awareness and acceptance, and work towards creating a more inclusive and equitable society for all.

Board of Directors


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