Northwest Region Athletes in the News

Special Olympics Florida athletes in northwest Florida are crushing it and being recognized for their achievements!

Athlete Shane Patty of Okaloosa County was recently named the All Sports Association Special Olympics Athlete of the Year at the 55th All Sports Association Awards Banquet and Silent Auction held at the Emerald Coast Convention Center.

Shane, who received his award from NFL Pro Bowler and FSU star Warrick Dunn, has been an MVP for several years, excelling in softball, track and field, and golf. He’s also a talented singer who is currently studying at the University of West Florida. Read more here

Meanwhile, Special Olympics Florida Hall of Fame inductee Stacy Barnes was featured recently in South Walton Life Online discussing Special Olympics health initiatives and her role in preparing athletes attending this year’s Capitol Hill Day. Stacy, who’s from Escambia County, co-presented via Zoom with Special Olympics International’s Chief Health Officer. Read the full story here.

Stacy was inducted last year into the Special Olympics Florida Hall of Fame. She has been an Athlete Leader since 2007 and currently serves as chairperson of her area’s Athlete Leadership Council. She has lobbied federal lawmakers on Capitol Hill Day, participated in Athlete Congresses, and spoken at multiple leadership conferences. Most recently, Stacy helped create the Aging and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Task Force.