How Kester Edwards Has Had a Major Impact

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Kester Edwards is a longtime Special Olympics athlete, former Special Olympics International Board of Directors member, and member of the very first class of Sargent Shriver International Global Messengers.

He is currently the Manager of Sport and Development at Special Olympics in Washington, D.C. He is known as a sports innovator who played a pivotal role in bringing an endurance sport—open water swimming—to Special Olympics.

His goal was to challenge our athletes in a bold new way. Born in Trinidad and Tobago, Kester was sent to Happy Haven School for people with intellectual disabilities. At the age of 9, he started training as a Special Olympics swimmer—and learned success for the first time.

He went on to compete in football (soccer), basketball, volleyball and floor hockey. He competed in the 1987 World Summer Games; by 1995, he was serving as an official at the Special Olympics World Games in Connecticut. Thanks to Kester, open water swimming is an official Special Olympics sport.

Kester Edwards got his local Honorary ESPY award in a spirited meeting at Special Olympics headquarters in Washington, D.C.

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