Big Show is one of the most decorated WWE champions in history, an actor and a Special Olympics Global Ambassador. He has earned the respect of athletes around the world by attending any event he can, encouraging other WWE stars to participate in the movement and crafting ideas to keep athletes healthy and engaged during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of his efforts to stay in touch with athletes while physical distancing restrictions are in place, Big Show surprised Tina Cook, a long time Special Olympics athlete from his home state of South Carolina, with a zoom video call (seen above). The video is part of the Call to Action series in which celebrity Ambassadors and supporters surprise some of their biggest fans who are also Special Olympics athletes.
The video was recently highlighted in a Sport Illustrated article in which Big Show opened up about he can relate to Special Olympics athletes being judged before people get to know them. For the athletes, it’s because of how they look or due to having intellectual disabilities. In Big Show’s case it’s his size. At 7-foot 2-inces he once weighed 500 pounds and was known as the world’s largest athlete. He has slimmed down considerably since then.
Big Show was first introduced to the organization at the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games in New Jersey and went on to become a Special Olympics Global Ambassador in 2018. Since then, he has advocated alongside and on behalf of Special Olympics athletes during Capitol Hill Day, had make-up applied on him by an 8-year old during a Special Olympics stream-a-thon and was part of the team that brought the School of Strength exercise videos to life.
For all of the time Big Show gives to the Special Olympics movement, he insists that he is the big winner. “These athletes, yes they need our support. They need our encouragement and donations,” he recently told Special Olympics Board of Directions Chair Timothy Shriver. “But, you will find working with Special Olympics athletes how much they do for you just by being around them. Special Olympics athletes are like chicken soup for my soul because it’s the human spirit at its purest when you watch how the athletes are with each other, how they have a desire to win. They have a desire to compete but not for one second is the support for one another ever left out.”