Gang, I’d like to briefly share a note with you I received from my friend and Special Olympics Board Director Donna de Varona after a recent trip she took to Myanmar.  Enjoy!


Dear Tim,

I’m inspired to share my joyful experience visiting our Special Olympics program in Myanmar, a country of welcoming people as they continue the process of opening their society to the world.  I had the pleasure of visiting the program headquarters in Yangon and meeting with the family director Kyaw Htut, and Executive Member Thein Win.  It was inspiring to see first hand how the Special Olympics Movement thrives on passion and volunteerism from leaders and families that know if they do not support their own programs, no one will.

Thein Win has been creative in establishing four programs in Yangon. I had the privilege of meeting with one of the groups in the Myanmar Stadium. I met coach Peter who told me he not only spends his days on the track and the football field, he spends his nights there too as he lives under the letter “Y” in the large letters that spell out “MYANMAR” painted on the stadium.  His smile and warmth was contagious.

During my visit I engrossed myself talking with parents and volunteers, answering and asking many questions.  One volunteer wants to use an available 50-meter pool to teach athletes swimming. I told him about our wonderful partner in the Michael Phelps Foundation and their IM Program and that I would follow up to see if the Foundation could send a coach to train volunteers.

I know you and all of our colleagues join me in sending a heartfelt thank you to Special Olympics Myanmar for their hard work, passion, courage, and relentless dedication.  This trip was yet another reminder for me that Special Olympics is where I continue to truly find the very best people.

All my best,
Donna de Varona

8 thoughts on “A letter from Myanmar

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    • Hi from Australia Khin Swe Aye and Special Olympic Athletes of Myanmar! My son is looking forward to playing Football at the Asia Pacific Games. We have many friends from Myanmar and we wish you all well at the Asia Pacific Games in December.
      love Anne, Mt Gambier, South Australia

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