Apollo Ohno and Me!

Jordan had the opportunity to film a small question and answer session with Apollo Ohno today. Below is his perspective of his experience.

I am an athlete who enjoys the thrill of competing. There are millions of athletes worldwide who enjoy it as well. I have won eighteen medals in eight years of competing in Special Olympics. Although in competitions there is only one winner, off the fields/court/ice, we all team up hoping to achieve the same victor of unity together. Yesterday, I got the chance to meet Mr. Apollo Anton Ohno, a US Olympic gold medalist and a fifteen-year speed skating veteran. Apollo has been very passionate about his sport for many years and has worked really hard to get to where he is today. Off the ice, Apollo is working for the same goal as many of us at the summit, and that is to create inclusion and unity in sports. Ohno has been a supporter of Special Olympics for many years and hopes to give more Special Olympians the chance to speed skate. He is also a follower of Tim Shriver’s “Dignity Revolution” and will rebel against exclusion along with millions of other people. From one gold medalist to another, it has been an honor to interview you, Apollo Ohno and I hope to see you at another World Games in the future. 

Filming with Apollo



We are the Change!

Together, we can make change!

Skyler Sharp reporting from Greece…”Being here in Greece I have been shown how much fo an impact that youth can have on their communities and the world. When I get back I hope to make an impact as well as get other people involved with youth leadership and Special Olympics.”

Chris Sullivan reports… “I Love it! I talked to my friends Josh and Noah last night on the computer. I danced with everyone.”

By the end of this trip I am fairly confident Chris will have a photo with someone from each country represented here. I am daily inspired by the camaraderie youth here demonstrate regardless of any intellectual, political or religious backgrounds. No language or ability barrier is going to stop this group from making a difference in their communities and in the world. The political situation here in Greece is difficult, but it is somewhat ironic that Special Olympics and Project UNIFY bring this amazing example of hope to Greece and the world at such a difficult time!

Yesterday we ate breakfast with the celebrities including Eddie Barbanell and Dikembe Mutombo.  The breakfast was not only nutritious but empowered youth to be the change!  Apolo Anton Ohno provided an inspiring message of how important Unified Sports are and the difference they create in the sports arena and our communities!  Discussions also surrounded how we are going to get the media to help us make changes!  Chris, Skyler and youth from around the world continued to shine with their presentations.  The night ended with dance… the best part about dancing is that it supersedes any language or ability!  Youth from around the world danced the night away to music that spanned the globe.  Today we are off to cheer on athletes and meet more people at the games!   – Team Oregon 


Core of Special Olympics

This week we have been enhancing our leadership skills, learning about different
Special Olympics programs from around the world, having fun, and so much more.
We participated in numerous conferences and discussions which strengthened our ability to activate our schools and communities back at home. Along with meeting Tim
Shriver, we went to the Parliament, the opening ceremonies, and visited sites
like the Acropolis and Plaka.

Even though all of these experiences are life changing and motivational, it is
important to stay focused on sports, which are at the core of Special Olympics.
We had a chance to play basketball and volleyball with the other GYAS members
and it was great to do what got us all involved in the first place. We felt
like it strengthened our relationship with some of the other participants and
gave us an opportunity to see each other in our prime. Without the sports Project
Unify would not have the power that it has. Playing sports is one of the most
unifying activities and it provides a common ground for athletes and partners
to interact. We just want to remember our roots and the initial mission of
Special Olympics.

The Acropolis!

Temple of the Wingless Victory!Alli, Tanealya, Jordan and Kim at the Parthenon.

Alli and Jordan wanted to reflect on their experience at the Acropolis….

In the United States, anything from before1800 is considered old. The Greeks would laugh at that. They have beautifully constructed buildings from BC times, such as the Acropolis. It is amazing how a building could still stand and look magnificent after wars, growth and time, along with a lack of modern technology. Although the once vibrant colors of the Parthenon have faded, its beauty remains and should be an example to modern architecture. The Acropolis provided breathtaking views of the city, ranging from ancient ruins to the modern Olympic stadiums, which our athletes are competing in! Seeing such a beautiful structure will be a moment we will never forget