Special Olympics Participates on Panel at Georgetown University on “Changing Lives Through Sport”

Special Olympics participated in a panel at Georgetown University on January 25 for students in the Disability Studies Initiative. The panel introduced students to individuals with and without intellectual disabilities and how their lives have changed through their involvement in Special Olympics, as athletes, family members, volunteers, fans, coaches, community leaders, authors and staff. In addition to myself, Christy Weir, Ricardo Thornton, coaches Meredith and David Ficca and unified partner Sam Shriver all participated on the panel. The panel was moderated by Fred Bowen, the author of the book Perfect Game and a columnist for the Washington Post. The night started out by all of us giving a 5 minute speech on our experiences. I talked about the R-word and how it is not acceptable to use the word and how it affected me then and 30 years later, affects me to this day. Over 140 students attended and at the end of the night, they all signed the R-word banner, taking the pledge.