RJ smiling for a photo; he has on glasses and a blue polo.

RJ Nealon

RJ Nealon is a Special Olympics North America communications fellow and athlete reporter, alumni of the University of Alabama and former ESPN intern.
Content By This Author
Melissa on stage with a medal draped around her neck speaking at SOMA's 50th Anniversary in 2018.
Melissa Reilly has never let her disability determine what she can and cannot do. Born with Down syndrome, Reilly defies stereotypes every day through sport, leadership and employment, exemplifying the value people with intellectual disabilities bring to all facets of life.
5 Min Read
Kevin Brown standing with Tim Shriver and two FBI representatives.
Kevin Brown has overcome just about every obstacle put in front of him. He’s never let failure or people giving him a hard time stop him from doing what he loves. But most of all, he puts others first, leads by example and goes above and beyond, even in these uncertain times.
5 Min Read
Virtual Summer Games 2020 logo.
All Special Olympics Programs are experiencing a new kind of normal in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing all to go virtual this year.
6 Min Read
A behind-the-scenes view of the NBA virtual fan experience on Microsoft Teams.
To say everything is a bit different these days is an understatement. But the NBA is doing everything it can to make things feel normal.
3 Min Read
The Landscapes with Naveh Elder Welcomes ESPN | Special Olympics: Athletes with a disability, diversity and Inclusion | Wokie Daboh, Kate Jackson, and John Papa; images of the speakers are included under each persons name.
Special Olympics has come a long way since 1968 and now it goes beyond just sports. In the past two weeks, the Landscape Podcast, a series of episodes highlighting people, programs and businesses changing the landscape for individuals with any type of disability, has focused on Special Olympics and ESPN.
3 Min Read
A picture of Loretta with text that reads: Happy Birthday Loretta Claiborne. The text is illustrated with streamers and balloons.
Loretta Claiborne has traveled the world with Special Olympics since starting to compete in 1970 with Special Olympics Pennsylvania. Over the past 50 years, she’s grown into one of Special Olympics’ most influential voices.
2 Min Read
Mentor Chris Winston (left) poses with SSIGM and Special Olympics Illinois athlete Daniel Smrokowski.
The 10 Sargent Shriver International Global Messengers (SSIGM) gathered in a Ritz-Carlton Grand Canal Hotel during the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
3 Min Read
Loretta on stage at a 50th celebration.
Loretta Claiborne always fought for equal rights growing up. It started as a young child and transitioned into her role as Chief Inspiration Officer for Special Olympics and as a member of the board of directors. During a time of sizable racial divide in the 1960s, she had to fight for inclusion because of her skin color, but also because she had different abilities. A fight she keeps alive to this day.
7 Min Read
World Games 2019, Track and Field - young man celebrating.
It's the most exciting time of year for all who are involved. Each year at the beginning of June, hundreds of Special Olympics Maryland athletes gather at Towson University just outside Baltimore City, ahead of the annual Summer Games.
3 Min Read
RJ smiling for a photo; he has on glasses and a blue polo.
I want to tell you a story about a kid who fell in love with sports at a young age. About a kid who had dreams of making a difference. A kid who was willing to do whatever it took to achieve that dream, but who was also just trying to keep up with everyone else.
2 Min Read