News


Special Olympics Florida Athlete Reports Again from the Super Bowl

Special Olympics athlete Malcom Harris-Gowdie is now a bona fide Super Bowl veteran. The Port St. Lucie County athlete was back at the Big Game this year, thanks to a partnership with sports and entertainment network FanSided.

National Girls & Women in Sports Day

On this nationally recognized day, we celebrate the achievements of two athletes who have been smashing misconceptions and breaking barriers.

Honoring Black Community Leaders

Monroe County athlete Charleslyn Rose Martin is inspired by her uncle and Key West District VI City Commissioner Clayton Lopez.

Athlete Performs National Anthem in South Florida

Special Olympics Florida athlete Aristide Reinoso performed the National Anthem at Miami-Dade County’s State of the County Address...and he blew the crowd away.

Making Inclusion Fashionable

Hillsborough County athlete Aarushi Pratap designed a new “Inclusion is Fashionable” T-shirt.  The shirt can be purchased on the Special Olympics' online store.

Way to Go Wawa

Special Olympics Florida athletes and representatives were on hand to help our corporate partner Wawa break ground on what will become Wawa’s first store in the Tallahassee area.

Celebrating Black History Month

Broward County Athlete Leader Layla Crehan is inspired by Major League Baseball Hall of Famer and eight-time All-Star Andre Dawson.

TD Charitable Foundation Grant Supports Healthy Hearing in Duval County

This $25,000 grant will help Special Olympics Florida provide Healthy Hearing screenings to Duval County’s Special Olympics athletes and help recruit audiologists to serve as clinical directors.

Brothers Share Love for Sports and Customer Service

Luis and Diego Martinez-Brown have a lot in common. They’re brothers, they’re Special Olympics Florida athletes, and they’re Publix associates excited by the 2024 Torch Icon Campaign now through January 21. 

Athlete Marks 25 Years at Publix

Special Olympics Florida athlete Jonathan Doring began working at Publix when he was in high school. His current role as a cashier extends beyond work and into meaningful customer relationships.

Lighting the Torch for our Athletes

Our Torch Icon Campaign at Publix is happening from January 12-21, bringing together Publix associates, customers and local communities to support nearly 70,000 Special Olympics athletes in Florida and beyond.

Athlete Chosen as Lightning Community Hero

Congratulations to Marlynne Stutzman, who was honored by the Tampa Bay Lightning. As part of the award, Special Olympics Florida received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, presented by Jabil.

A Movement of Community Resilience

Special Olympics Florida has been selected to participate in this year’s Great Charity Challenge.

2023 Was An Extraordinary Year

A year-end message from Special Olympics Florida President and CEO Sherry Wheelock.

Athlete Honored by the Big 12 Conference

Adrienne Bunn has been named the Special Olympics Female Athlete of the Year by the Big 12 Conference!   She was recognized in front of almost 85,000 people at the Big 12 Championship at AT&T Stadium in Dallas. She also attended the Big 12 Commissioner’s Reception, along with Special Olympics Florida Chief Operating Officer Meghan McLean.

This Flop Was a Huge Success!

Thank you to everyone who voted for Special Olympics Florida in the recent Jacksonville Jaguars-Tropical Smoothie Café Bellyflop challenge!

Racing for Champions in South Florida

Over 450 participants gathered on the campus of Nova Southeastern University for the 18th annual Sallarulo’s Race for Champions. The event, one of South Florida’s most anticipated fundraisers, celebrates community, compassion, and respect in an inclusive run/walk alongside Special Olympics Florida athletes. 

Race for Inclusion – Miami

Our final 2023 race event took place with more than 300 runners and walkers coming out Bayfront Park in Miami to raise over $165,000 to support our mission.

Every Family is Special

A huge thanks to our partners at Holiday Inn Club Vacations for once again treating a Special Olympics Florida family to a complimentary stay at Orange Lake Resort in Orlando. 

“Yeah, I am Special”

Special Olympics Florida athlete Joshua Olds is one of the faces of a new Special Olympics national campaign designed to reclaim and redefine what it means to be special. 

Hall of Fame Class 2023

We are proud to announce the newest members of the Special Olympics Florida Hall of Fame. The 2023 inductees truly embody the best of the Special Olympics movement.

State Fall Classic

More than 1,500 athletes and Unified partners from across Florida turned out for two days of competition at the ESPN Wide World of Complex. They participated in six different sports, including cornhole, flag football, gymnastics, pickleball, powerlifting, softball.



Celebrating Inclusion at the Champions Gala

Special Olympics Florida honored the athletes, volunteers, and partners who make its work possible at a spectacular gala featuring music, dancing, fellowship, and fireworks. The Champions Gala, presented by Publix, was held at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate.

Annual Leadership Award Winners

Special Olympics Florida is thrilled to announce the winners of its annual Leadership Awards which honor service to the Special Olympics movement.

Racing for Inclusion in Orlando

Nearly 500 participants came out to support the third annual race event.  A huge thanks to our host, the Promenade at Sunset Walk, and to our partners – Publix, Accenture, NDM Hospitality, Orlando Health, and Talk of the Town Restaurant Group.

Miami Race for Inclusion Kickoff Event

Corporate partners and local leaders met at Gekko’s restaurant to promote the Race For Inclusion - Miami. Ron Goncalves, President and General Manager, Florida at Nomi Health – a Gold Sponsor of the Miami Race for Inclusion -- welcomed the attendees.

Triathletes Smash the IRONMAN Barrier

Two of our remarkable triathletes made history over the weekend by competing in and completing the World IRONMAN Championship in Kona, Hawaii. 

SONA Golf Championship

Congratulations to the Special Olympics Florida golfers who turned in award-winning performances at the 2023 Special Olympics North America Golf Championship.

Swim for Inclusion 2023

Swimmers from across the state turned out recently for the Swim for Inclusion at Lake Cane in Orlando. 

Swing Into Topgolf’s Giving Season

You can support Special Olympics Florida when you make a reservation at Topgolf through October 31.


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