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Latin America

“The Power of Inclusive Sports” invited us to the inner worlds and emotions of our athletes

Art is a window into the worlds, emotions and thoughts we carry inside. It allows us to communicate, share feelings and express concerns in a cathartic manner. In commemoration of the International Day of Sports for Development and Peace, Special Olympics Latin America and the UNESCO Cluster Office for Central America joined forces to develop an art contest, “The Power of Inclusive Sports”.

“The important thing is to share what we feel about inclusion. And I wanted to thank Latin America for sharing all their drawings, because it represents so many details, emotions and all that.”
Rocío Ochoa, Special Olympics Chile

The response from our community was incredible: we received over 110 art pieces, from 12 countries in Latin America! There were two categories for participating art pieces: Individual art & Unified art, where people with and without intellectual disabilities worked and created art together.

We had a distinguished panel of judges, composed by artists and experts from the art world, as well as representatives from Special Olympics Latin America and the UNESCO Cluster Office for Central America:

  • Mrs. Carla Levy, Artist & illustrator
  • Mr. Gennaro A. Rodríguez, Artist, painter & architect
  • Mr. Camilo Retana, Director of the postgraduate degree in Arts of the Universidad de Costa Rica
  • Mrs. María Lucía Alemán, Executive Director of the Panama Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Mrs. Nelly Grimaldo, Manager, ArtStuff Panamá
  • Mrs. Claudia Echeverry, President & Regional Director, Special Olympics Latin America
  • Mrs. Giselle Burbano, Specialist of the Social & Human Sciences Program, UNESCO Cluster Office for Central America

This panel had the difficult task of choosing the six winning pieces, presented below:



And a Honorable Mention to the entry with the most engagement and reactions in social media:

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El Poder del Deporte Inclusivo from María José Vega (Ecuador)

In the words of Rocío Ochoa, “It’s not always important to win, because the important thing is to show that you can do it.” And under that perspective, the activity was a complete success, because it gave athletes the opportunity to share their feelings and opinions about inclusion and its importance, especially in a post COVID-19 context.

“’Unwinding in the water (Un desahogo en el agua)’ is a drawing about my swimming classes before the pandemic. A space where I can take a deep breath and get out of my chest, out of my self, out of my soul, all those things that overwhelm and frustrate me about not being able to understand or make myself be understood like I would want to.”
Bryan Maikol Quinga, Special Olympics Ecuador

We want to thank everyone who made this event possible: athletes, for their courage; their families, for their support; national programs, for sharing these opportunities for their athletes; and our social media audience, for their words of encouragement and support for our artist athletes.

Galleries with all participating art entries can be found in the following links:

#ChooseToInclude, always!