Our Athletes

Celebrating United Nations Day

In 2020, the United Nations marks 75 years of working toward “peace, dignity and equality on a healthy planet.” On United Nations Day, we celebrate the UN’s work with a look at some of the Special Olympics athlete leaders, from around the world, who have spoken before UN audiences throughout the years.

Sahil Singh, Special Olympics Barat (India) Athlete

Sahil Singh spoke at the 23rd session of the UN committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities virtual World Down Syndrome Day event in March 2020. The topic was “We Decide.”

Chaica Al Qassimi, Special Olympics UAE

Chaica Al Qassimi at the United Nations

In June 2019, Special Olympics United Arab Emirates athlete Chaica Al Qassimi spoke on a panel at the UN titled, “1 Billion Voices: Making the Invisible Visible: The Power of Sports and Expressive Arts,” about the power of inclusion in sport.

Nyasha Derera, Special Olympics International Global Messenger

Nyasha Derera at the United Nations

During the 12th Session of the UN Conference of States Parties to the CRPD in June 2019, Special Olympics Zimbabwe athlete Nyasha Derera shared his personal story of victory over exclusion.

Gerald Mballe, Special Olympics Italy Unified Partner

David Evangelista and Gerald Mballe standing side by side.

In February 2020, Special Olympics Italy Unified Partner Gerald Mballe addressed a meeting with the leadership of UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. He and Special Olympics Europe Eurasia President and Managing Director, David Evangelista at the UNHCR headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland discussed the impact of Special Olympics Unified Sports© on marginalized communities.

Jamie Cruz, Special Olympics Peru

Jamie Cruz at the UN

In 2019, Jamie Cruz traveled from Peru to New York to address the United Nations on the importance of sports, culture and hobbies for people with disabilities.

Special Olympics Korea Musical Performances

Special Olympics Korea Musical Performances

Musicians from Special Olympics Korea’s arts festival performed at the 2018 International Day of Persons with Disabilities at the United Nations.

Loretta Claiborne, Special Olympics Board of Directors Vice Chair and Special Olympics Pennsylvania Athlete

Loretta Claiborne sitting at a table speaking.
Speaker addresses High-level meeting of the General Assembly on the Realization of the Millennium Development Goals and Other Internationally Agreed Development Goals for Persons with Disabilities - Round Table 2 "The post-2015 development agenda and inclusive development for persons with disabilities"

In September 2013, Loretta Claiborne addressed of the General Assembly’s meeting on disability and development titled “The post-2015 development agenda and inclusive development for persons with disabilities.”

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