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Inspiring Stories

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Sisters Conquer Fears, Inspire Community

Special Olympics has enhanced the lives of two special Kaiser Permanente members in a magical way.

Fourteen year old Alina and 13-year-old Lilia Ford live in North Hollywood and have been part of the Special Olympics Santa Clarita Tri-Valley chapter for the last four years. More>>

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Exciting Opening Ceremony Welcomes 6,500 Athletes to LA2015

As the 6,500 athletes from 165 countries marched into the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the Opening Ceremony of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, they were greeted with excited cheers, waves, and delight. More>>

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Self-taught Swimmer Wins Gold Medals

"I can swim like Michael Phelps!" Owen Ostergard assured his parents. He had been obsessively studying Michael Phelps' races during the 2012 Special Olympics. More>>

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NBA and Kaiser Permanente Team Up for NBA FIT Clinic for Special Olympics Athletes

The sounds of sneakers screeching, basketballs pounding freshly polished hardwood, and the sharp slap of high-fives echoing throughout the gymnasium paled in comparison to the joyous laughter from the Special Olympics athletes in attendance. More>>

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Kaiser Permanente's 'Be Brave' Celebrates the Greatness Embodied by Special Olympics Athletes Around the World

The Special Olympics Athlete Oath is "Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." What's braver than athletes who have defied stereotypes and incalculable odds to compete, represent their community, and bring glory to a sport they love? This is why Kaiser Permanente has created "Be Brave," an integrated, multi-platform media campaign that celebrates the inspiring will and determination of Special Olympics athletes around the world. More>>

photo of Kaiser Permanente Georgia Representatives Carry Flame Of Hope for Special Olympics World Games

Kaiser Permanente Georgia Representatives Carry Flame Of Hope for Special Olympics World Games

Kaiser Permanente staff and members welcomed the Unified Relay Across America in Atlanta on Saturday, June 6, with some of our Special Olympics members carrying the torch on its way to the World Games in Los Angeles this summer. More>>

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Two Brothers With a Built-In Cheering Section

Roberto and Carlos Mendoza have their own built-in cheering section — each other. These young brothers love to compete. They love it even better when they win. More>>

Special Olympics Serve as a Perfect Match for Mother-Daughter Tennis Coach Team

Special Olympics Serve as a Perfect Match for Mother-Daughter Tennis Coach Team

It's a match made in heaven. The Special Olympics was looking for volunteers to coach tennis; tennis gurus Charinda Lohaphaisan, PharmD and her daughter Proyfon were looking for a good place to volunteer. Like they say, a perfect match. More>>

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Special Olympics Ignited a Spark Within the Heart of an Athlete

Danielle Garcia was itching to go out for sports, but school just wasn't the place to do it. "I always got teased and messed with in school because I was different," says Danielle. "I was afraid to go out for any sport, and I probably wouldn't have made it anyway." More>>

Photo of Chris Paul event March 2015

NBA All-Star Chris Paul and Special Olympics Athletes Share Commitment, Heart, Drive

Eight-time NBA All-Star Chris Paul joined Kaiser Permanente in welcoming two Special Olympics basketball teams to a basketball clinic at the Crenshaw Family YMCA in Los Angeles on Saturday, March 21.

The athletes — members of the Special Olympics Southern California Lakewood teams — had an opportunity to run drills, scrimmage and learn from one of the best players in the NBA. Afterwards, Paul conducted a question-and-answer session with the athletes and provided each one with a signed basketball as a remembrance of the day and the time they spent with an outstanding athlete and role model. More>>

Photo of Tyrone Garrett special Olympian

A Kickstart Athlete Goes Global!

Tyrone Garrett was devastated at the passing of his mother in 1998. He comforted himself with food, as his weight ballooned up to 300 pounds. He developed diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. He'd been involved in Special Olympics since he was a teenager, but he stopped participating. His heart just wasn't in it. More>>

Photo of Spencer Woods special Olympian with family

Spencer Sizzles at Special Olympics!

Spencer Woods just completed his first Special Olympics event; but you can bet it won't be his last. As far as he's concerned, the Special Olympics is the only game in town. More>>

Photo of Drew Dayton special Olympian

Special Olympics Athlete Defies the Odds!

Drew Dayton has come far in his life since he was adopted from Russia as a baby. Born 3 months premature, doctors said he would never talk or walk. He's not just walking and talking, he's swimming, running and kicking the soccer ball like a champ. More>>

Photo of Brittany Morgan special Olympian

Her Knack is Knocking Down Pins

"I like to knock down the pins!" says Brittany Morgan describing her passion for bowling, her main Special Olympics event for the past five years. "I have lots of medals." More>>

Photo of Allen Wales special Olympian

It's All for One and One for All at Special Olympics

"I couldn't play on the basketball team in high school because I was different. People thought they'd get my disease. But in Special Olympics, we're all on the same team, we get a chance, we belong, we grow…." Allen Wales is speaking to one of the many groups he addresses as a Special Olympics Global Messenger. More>>

Photo of Jenna Ramirez special Olympian

A Leader, an Inspiration, and an Awesome Swimmer

Jenna Ramirez is a leader, an inspiration, and an awesome swimmer.  It all started with the Special Olympics. More>>

Photo of Chris Akubuilo receiving medals

Love of Water Leads to a Special Olympics Athlete

"I like competing," says Chris Akubuilo with an infectious smile.

Chris has been a Special Olympics athlete ever since the third grade when he started competing in track and field. But once he went for a dip in a therapeutic pool and caught a couple of rockin' waves at the beach in Santa Monica, track and field were history. "He loved the water so much, he took up swimming," says mom Michelle Smith. More>>

Photo of Adam Lewis special Olympian

Next Time, Nothing Will Stop This Bocce Ball Competitor!

Very little gets the best of Adam Lewis. He was all set to compete in the Special Olympics Summer Games Invitational when he was knocked out of the competition. But it wasn't the opposing bocce ball team that got him, it was a plain old, run-of-the mill flu bug. More>>

Photo of Toni Gonzalez receiving trophy

Special Olympics Created a CAN-DO Attitude!

"Oh, I can't do that." No one has heard Toni Gonzalez utter those words in a very long time. Her participation in Special Olympics has given her the confidence to take on more than she ever thought possible. More>>

Photo of Paul Preble special Olympian

Special Olympics Brings a Family Together

This is a Special Olympics love story.

It started 35 years ago with a 12-year-old boy named Paul Preble. Paul's family wanted him to learn how to swim. So Paul's aunt, Claudette Adkins, and her mom took him to a pool in Long Beach where Special Olympics had a swimming program. But things were different in those days. "They were hesitant to accept Paul because none of their coaches were trained to work with autistic children," says Claudette. "So my mom says, ‘Claudette will teach them.'"More>>