On April 2017, Julio Barrera, Special Olympics Panama athlete, was appointed President of Latin America’s Athlete Leaders Council.
One of his duties is to be the voice of the Special Olympics athletes.
"I am honored by this appointment. Now it's my job to promote inclusion and inspire everyone to understand the importance of Special Olympics for society,” he says.
Julio, a 28-year-old unified soccer athlete, was bullied in school, but his life took a turn when he got into Special Olympics 15 years ago.
"I started swimming and I represented Panama in Japan. Then I participated in triathlon events and other competitions and won several medals."
Julio is an Athlete Leader and has been working for Copa Airlines for four years. He acknowledges that "Special Olympics can make dreams come true through sports. I am an example of this."