Stories

Sharing the joy of sport

Special Olympics has received many incredible stories from people whose lives have been changed and enriched through sport, friendship, fun and mentorship. Some of those people have been kind enough to share their stories with you.

Visit our photo and video galleries featuring our athletes, coaches, and volunteers.

Jackie Barrett performs a squat at World Games
The now retired Corner Brook athlete, also known as “the Newfoundland Moose,” has broken not only Special Olympics records throughout his 28-year career, but also those of his able-bodied counterparts.
Brita holds ribbon won through Special Olympics.
At just nine-weeks-old, Manitoba’s Brita Hall was in a car crash that resulted in the loss of the cognitive function of her brain. Doctors said she...
The Demeulenaere pose for a photo.
In 2012, Prince Edward Island’s Tracey and Mike Demeulenaere were heartbroken to learn their unborn daughter, Kelsey, would have Down syndrome. Tracey...
Briggs, a labrador, pokes his nose towards the camera lens
Four-year-old Labrador Retriever Briggs Pearce stole the show at the Vancouver Polar Plunge for Special Olympics BC earlier this year. Participating in the province’s first-ever Puppy Plunge on March 2, the charitable canine earned the sought-after title of “Top Puppy Plunger.”
Sgt. Joe Tataryn in his police uniform as Special Olympics athletes give him a group hug.
Saskatoon Police Service’s Sergeant Joe Tataryn got involved with the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) within his first month of becoming a police officer in 1998. While there are a number of charities supported by police across the country, LETR hit close to home.
Mark Gugan, in his police uniform, poses for a photo with an athlete holding a Canadian flag.
After 32-years as a police officer, Sgt. Mark McGugan’s career highlight is the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR). The London City Police Officer – and Provincial Director for LETR in Ontario – has been involved with the public awareness and grassroots fundraising organization for Special Olympics for almost as long as he’s been policing.
Kristi MacKay, dressed in her uniform, fist bumps an athlete at an event.
School Resource Officer Kristi MacKay is a dedicated LETR PEI committee member and a consistent participant in the province’s annual Polar Plunge. She also goes above and beyond by taking on extra tasks and creating unforgettable experiences with Special Olympics athletes.
Const. Scott Edwards stands in front of a police car with his dog Chase in the front seat. Scott is holding a yellow sign that says #NoGoodWay
Constable Scott Edwards has been involved with the Manitoba LETR since 2014 and is currently the Secretary on the Executive Committee. He is also the Chair of the Morden Polar Plunge Committee, which is in its 5th year.
A police officer poses for a photo with an athlete
Inspector Joanne Wild has been a member of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics BC (BC LETR) since the 1990s and serves on the BC LETR Executive Council. She has worked tirelessly to raise funds and awareness for SOBC through numerous fundraising initiatives.
Braylon poses for a photo at Cora's restaurant for a Cops and Crepes event with another officer and two Special Olympics athletes
In 2010, I was asked to participate in a community LETR run. I honestly didn’t know what LETR or Special Olympics was about at that time, but I enjoyed running, so I said yes. I started volunteering and meeting local athletes. The athletes always had huge smiles on their faces and the happiness was contagious.