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.

Emran and Aliaa Alnahhas play the piano together.
When 21-year-old Syrian refugee Emran Alnahhas moved to Canada with his family three years ago, he hoped for a better life for not only himself, but also his younger sister Aliaa, who has Down syndrome.
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Saskatoon’s Brenda Baker, an award-winning singer and former children’s entertainer, wanted to pass on her love of music to her daughter Tori, who had Down syndrome. When she couldn’t find a local choir that accommodates the needs of children with an intellectual disability, she decided to start her own.
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Balancing a work schedule, Special Olympics practices and competitions can be tough for Peterborough’s Crystal Cochrane, but her boss at Wendy’s in Peterborough always makes it work.
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There are countless Tim Hortons restaurants across Canada that include Special Olympics athletes and Canadians with an intellectual disability as part of their team. A National Partner of Special Olympics Canada since 2015, Tim Hortons is a true Champion of Inclusion.
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Every Thursday morning five-year-old Alma Loken jumps out of bed filled with excitement. “I’m awake! It’s Special Olympics day!” she exclaims. Since...
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.