Our Athletes

Jamie Foxx Learned ‘How to Live’ from Sister, a Special Olympics Athlete

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Special Olympics extends condolences to actor and singer Jamie Foxx after the death of his sister DeOndra Dixon, who was a Special Olympics Texas athlete before joining her brother in California. He announced her passing on 26, October, 2020. She was 36-years old. Our thoughts are with her family and loved ones during this difficult time.

DeOndra Dixon was known as an accomplished dancer, public speaker and longtime Special Olympics athlete. She was also an advocate for people with intellectual disabilities who inspired everyone she met, especially her Oscar-winning brother, Jamie Foxx.

In a rare broadcast interview, Jamie described his little sister, who had Down syndrome, as the "superstar" in the family. He also told NBC's "Dateline" how DeOndra gave his life perspective.

“I learned how to live. Sometimes we get caught up in our world on the extras of everything — ‘Ah, the Mercedes is not the right color!’” he said. “And then you see this girl over here. ‘I just want to live. I want to dance. I want to love.’ She brings you back down to what life is.”

DeOndra was born in Texas, where she competed with Special Olympics for nearly a decade. After graduating from high school in 2002, she moved to California. Though it had not been widely publicized, DeOndra and big brother Jamie had been housemates ever since.

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Among other things, DeOndra said she really enjoyed making her brother laugh. And Jamie tells NBC he appreciated everything she taught him. He added in the "Dateline" interview, "DeOndra has a light on ... that's been on since she got here, since she was born."

DeOndra kept busy after her move to California. She became a global ambassador, model and spokesperson for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. She was also a recipient of the Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award.

Hear more about DeOndra and Jamie in this rare interview: https://www.today.com/popculture/jamie-foxx-learned-live-sister-down-syndrome-t136610

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