Kurtis Jon Siu grew up in Hong Kong in a family of four, with an older brother who also has an intellectual disability. Kurtis credits Special Olympics with building his confidence, not only in sports but also by encouraging him to pursue his passions. One of those passions is art and design!
This led him to studying at the Savannah College of Art and Design, where he majored in graphic design. Now, he has a job at a labeling company as a graphic designer.
Kurtis became involved in Special Olympics when he was just 11 years old. As a figure skater, he competed in the World Winter Games in 2005, 2009, and 2013. He then competed in the World Games in 2015 in golf. In addition, Kurtis was one of the artists at the 2017 World Winter Games teaching athletes and families how to draw in the “art jamming” program.
Unlike many of his peers with intellectual disabilities in China, Kurtis had the opportunity to study at a mainstream school in an inclusive setting.
Kurtis says, “I am fine with who I am and what I can do.” He has carried this attitude with him through being an athlete leader, Regional Messenger, and now a Sargent Shriver International Global Messenger.
Kurtis has also been finding success by learning different art and design skills, publishing coloring books, and creating other products. He hopes to spread the message and spirit of the Special Olympics community through his artwork and leadership. Kurtis is also a member of the Regional Athlete Input Council for Special Olympics East Asia.
Kurtis says, “I am here to learn, to share, and I hope I can bring home more insights of what I can do.”