Our Athletes

Sebastian Joynes Found Acceptance at Special Olympics


Sebastian Joynes lived an isolated life before he found Special Olympics. His mother, Ruth, knew getting out in the world was crucial for his development, socialization, learning and quality of life.

Yet when she brought him out to a local recreation program, he was asked to leave—and not return. Sebastian, who has intellectual disabilities and autism, did not hear the admonishment.

For Ruth, however, the message was loud, clear and devastating. “Sebastian had a life of seclusion, no friends and no social life. I was very apprehensive that would continue.”

Eventually, things changed for the better—his life blossomed and his social circle forever widened—when Ruth took her son to a golf outing at Special Olympics Pennsylvania-York County.

After golfing and meeting with other athletes, Sebastian still happily keeps coming back. Sebastian competes, has fun and, most importantly, gains acceptance among his peers. “Everyone was like him, and everyone was happy," Ruth says.