Unified athletes and teammates in East Asia have been experiencing the pandemic longer than anyone. Seeing better times—and more Special Olympics activities!—coming, they encourage everyone to look ahead with optimism and make hopeful plans for the future, just like they've been doing!
Andrew is a Special Olympics athlete and marathon runner, who’s become a coach. He’s worked hard to stay in great shape—and won’t let a pandemic lockdown get in the way of his training. See how he’s training other athletes, like Marcelo, to learn stamina and endurance, despite the quarantine and other restrictions.
Kiera is an unstoppable Special Olympics athlete, World Games medalist, and athlete leader from northwest England. Yet COVID-19 did stop her trainings and competitions, plus kept her away from her friends and fellow athletes. Isolation can be tough, but Kiera knew it wasn’t just tough on her. She encourages her athlete friends—and everyone else—to stay fit, despite the lockdown!
Jimmy is an accomplished athlete and athlete leader--and now a coach, referee and respected role model in South Africa. But life didn’t start out that way. Jimmy shares the importance of positive thinking to overcome stigma—and focusing on ability, not disability.
Michel needed a job to support his mother and siblings. He had some skills, but needed to learn a lot more to become a versatile auto mechanic. He also needed to adapt to working and communicating with a variety of people. The discipline he learned through team sports also helped. Thanks to his hard work, Michel is now a valued employee, as this brief glimpse shows.
From the very start, Lily had big dreams—and determination! She’s a trail-blazing young talent, who also happens to have Down syndrome. Still in her teens, she’s become a popular model & actress, most recently appearing on the Netflix series, “Never Have I Ever.” Here, she shares some tips for anyone else determined to follow their dreams.
Novie had a rough start, abandoned at birth in an inner-city hospital. Then Kelly stopped by her crib—and adopted Novie soon after. They’ve been together ever since! When Kelly fell seriously ill last year, landing her in the ICU before Christmas, Novie didn’t know how to cope. Here, she shares how she handled the crisis.
Youssef saw his friends beaten and bullied, then he was beaten and bullied—all because they have intellectual disabilities. Instead of giving up, he became determined to show the world that people with ID can do anything ”if only we are given the chance.” In his own words, he inspires us to grab every opportunity to succeed, because “we are ALL able.”