Loretta Claiborne

In 2020, the United Nations marks 75 years of working toward “peace, dignity and equality on a healthy planet.” On United Nations Day, we celebrate the UN’s work with a look at some of the Special Olympics athlete leaders, from around the world, who have spoken before UN audiences throughout the years.
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In an interview for Top of HER Game on Sportsnet, Loretta Clairborne, Special Olympics Board of Directors Vice Chair, recounted her journey from being ignored in school to becoming the voice of millions of Special Olympics athletes.
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Loretta Claiborne, Special Olympics Vice Chair of the Board of Directors and Chief Inspiration Officer, was recognized by USA Today in the Women of the Century USA TODAY 100 project.
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Loretta Claiborne has traveled the world with Special Olympics since starting to compete in 1970 with Special Olympics Pennsylvania. Over the past 50 years, she’s grown into one of Special Olympics’ most influential voices.
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On the podcast Laughter Permitted with Julie Foudy, Special Olympics Chief Inspiration Officer Loretta Claiborne discussed her experiences being bullied, recalled finding her voice through Special Olympics and shared her hopes for the future.
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Loretta Claiborne always fought for equal rights growing up. It started as a young child and transitioned into her role as Chief Inspiration Officer for Special Olympics and as a member of the board of directors. During a time of sizable racial divide in the 1960s, she had to fight for inclusion because of her skin color, but also because she had different abilities. A fight she keeps alive to this day.
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In a recent article by Glamour, Loretta Claiborne discusses using her life to teach others how to be more inclusive and empathic.
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Loretta Claiborne was born the middle of seven children in a poor, single-parent family in York, Pennsylvania. Partially blind and with intellectual disabilities, she was unable to walk or talk until four-years-old. Today, Claiborne is an accomplished athlete, motivational speaker, member of the Special Olympics International Board of Directors, and Chief Inspiration Officer for Special Olympics.
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Loretta Claiborne is the Vice Chair of the Special Olympics Board of Directors and athlete from Pennsylvania. In this expert tip video, she demonstrates how to make a friendship bracelet.
Special Olympics Board Vice Chair, Loretta Clairborne, celebrates Special Olympics Founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver and the female athletes who have contributed to the movement over the last 50 years.