Today, the Special Olympics International Board of Directors met at P&G headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio. Chairman Tim Shriver opened the meeting with a review of Special Olympics’ movement values: Sportsmanship with Joy, Bravery, Athlete Leadership, Unity and Perseverance. After sharing inspiring stories he asked each board member write a few thoughts about the value that means the most to them.

Special Olympics Florida athlete and International Board Director Eddie Barbanell shared the following:

“The value of athlete leadership means a lot to me because it creates unity and bring more people with intellectual disabilities together to play unified and live unified. It brings more qualified coaches and volunteers to train; it allows athletes and their non-disabled peers to play together on and off the playing field to promote acceptance and inclusion around the world. Everyone should be accepted for who they are, not what they are.”

Each of Special Olympics’ core values describes an aspect of our identity as a global movement of nearly 4 million athletes, and hundreds of thousands more volunteers, coaches, families, and fans. So whatever role you play in the movement, tell us, what Special Olympics value means the most to you?

One thought on “Athlete Leadership: A Defining Value

  1. Eddie, I feel privileged that I was able to participate today in the games with the Special Olympians and the Special Olympics Board of Directors at P&G’s Global Headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio.

    The games were exciting, fun and extremely competitive. I was helping with the Basketball competition. At our basketball booth (there were two), Special Olympian Austin made 51 shots and was the second highest score just behind former NBA player Sam Perkins (Sam made 53) and way more then Special Olympics CEO Tim Shriver, way to go Austin!!

    Eddie I was inspired by the motivational speech you shared with the athletes and the P&G Volunteers. You area a great leader! Keep up the great work, you are a fabulous Ambassodor for the Special Olympics and all folks around the world with special needs.


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