Kurtis Jon Siu hails from Hong Kong, China and is a current student at the Savannah College of Art and Design. As a Sargent Shriver International Global Messenger, Kurtis hopes to bring awareness to the talents of his fellow athletes through his own artwork.
Kurtis comes from a family of four, with one older brother who also has an intellectual disability. Kurtis credits Special Olympics for building his confidence not only in sports but also in growing his passion for art.
Unlike most of his peers with intellectual disabilities, Kurtis had the opportunity to study at a mainstream school in an inclusive setting. In talking about his experience, Kurtis says, “I am fine with who I am and what I can do, and I think we all should be the same.” He has carried this attitude with him through being a regional messenger, athlete leader, and now International Global Messenger.
Kurtis became involved in Special Olympics when he was just 11 years old. As a competitive figure skater, he competed in the Winter World Games in 2005, 2009, and 2013. In addition to this, he participated in the Summer World Games in 2015 in golf. Beyond competing in sporting events, Kurtis was also one of many artists at the 2017 Winter World Games teaching athletes and families how to draw in the “art jamming” program.
As a Global Messenger over the next four years, Kurtis plans to apply for the “extra weight” in his suitcase of inclusion. With his second coloring book publishing next year, he hopes to spread the message of the spirit of the Special Olympics community through his artwork and leadership.
Kurtis says, “I am here to learn, to share, and I hope I can bring home more insights of what I can do.”