In the News

Special Olympics Athletes Shine at Virtual NFL Big Game Media Tour

Alex Mack and Lisa Spencer on a Zoom call for “Super Bowl Live” interview on the NFL Network.
Atlanta Falcons Player Alex Mack, Special Olympics Iowa athlete Lisa Spencer join “Super Bowl Live” on the NFL Network.

Though the 2021 Super Bowl was broadcast and streamed live as usual, the traditional weeklong media fanfare, known as Radio Row, was conducted virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In prior years, Special Olympics athletes, Unified partners, ambassadors and supporters have taken part in countless in-person interviews to help spread the message of inclusion.

Face-to-face interviews were not the only things that changed this year for Special Olympics athletes. The NFL Foundation released this statement about a custom that has become very special to both organizations.

“The NFL Foundation is proud to support Special Olympics Unified Sports®, which builds inclusive communities by enabling people with and without intellectual disabilities to play on the same team. In the absence of our traditional Unified Flag Football game occurring Super Bowl week, we are excited that many of our players will advocate for the important programs of Special Olympics during this year’s virtual Radio Row experience.”

The athletes and their speaking teammates rose to the occasion by taking part in more than 70 interviews bringing awareness, information and excitement about the Movement over the course of five days. Listeners and viewers across broadcast, websites and social media were treated to fun and engaging conversations while learning about Special Olympics’ four core focuses: Sports, Health, Leadership and Education.

Radio Row by the Numbers
70+
INTERVIEWS
5
DAYS
9
ATHLETES AND UNIFIED PARTNERS
3
CHAMPION AMBASSADORS
9
CELEBRITY SUPPORTERS

Nearly all of the interviews were Unified, pairing an athlete with a Special Olympics Champion Ambassador or celebrity supporter.

We truly appreciate all the athletes and Unified partners who represented Special Olympics throughout the week:
Chris Nikic, Special Olympics Florida
Malcom Harris-Gowdie, Special Olympics Florida
Jordan Adeyemi, Special Olympics Georgia Unified partner
Steven Russel, Special Olympics Georgia athlete
Cory Williams, Special Olympics Illinois
Lisa Spencer, Special Olympics Iowa athlete
Justin Hunsinger, Special Olympics Maryland athlete
Callum Denault, Special Olympics Ontario athlete
Nick Caywood, Special Olympics Pennsylvania athlete
Krystal Silvia-McFall, Special Olympics Southern California

We’d like thank the Special Olympics Champion Ambassadors who participated:
Chris Nikic, first person with Down syndrome to complete a full IRONMAN triathlon
Dalton Risner, offensive guard, Denver Broncos
Mack Hollins, Super Bowl Champion and wide receiver, Miami Dolphins

We’d also like to thank the professional athletes in attendance:
Alex Mack, 6-time Pro Bowl Champion and center, Atlanta Falcons
Alex Singleton, linebacker, Philadelphia Eagles
Bianca Belair, WWE Superstar
Dan Klecko, Former NFL Player and three-time Super Bowl champion
Drew McIntyre, WWE Superstar
Kevin Owens, WWE Superstar
Mojo Rawley, WWE Superstar

Here is a sample list of links to the media engagements:
590 The Fan - Chris & Nik Nikic
SiriusXM Canada - Chris & Nik Nikic
iHeart Radio - Mojo Rowley & Justin Hunsinger
Fansided - Chris & Nik Nikic
TalkSPORT (UK) - Mojo Rowley & Justin Hunsinger
WNST - Chris & Nik Nikic
CBS Sports Radio - Dalton Risner, Jordan Adeyemi & Steven Russel
CBS Sports Radio - Drew McIntyre & Malcom Harris-Gowdie
NFL Network - Alex Mack & Lisa Spencer
NBC Sports - Alex Singleton & Nick Caywood
iHeart Houston - Mack Hollins & Nick Caywood
Fox Sports Radio - Alex Singleton & Nick Caywood

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