A Thanksgiving Message from our President

I try to start every day from a place of thankfulness. So today, in the tradition of Thanksgiving, I want to begin this message by expressing my sincere gratitude.

Gratitude for this incredible community. Gratitude for the awe-inspiring athletes who embody the inclusion revolution. Gratitude to the Special Olympics Virginia coaches, volunteers, unified partners, families and communities who are the backbone of our mission.

And of course, gratitude for you.

When you help athletes take the first step in their journey and experience the power of sports, you’re making the world a more joyful place for people with intellectual disabilities, and for those around them.

You're helping to create a place where athletes can find extraordinary strength and joy. You make everything we do possible. And in so doing, you set the stage for our athletes to find their new, elevated “possible.”

The last few years have seen wave after wave of uncertainty as fear and worry continue to creep into our lives. We need strength and joy now more than ever.

Luckily, for each of us, joy is what Special Olympics does best:

  • You can hear the joy when an athlete whoops, hollers and cheers in delight when they score their first goal or win their first medal. 
  • You can see the joy on the faces of parents and loved ones when they witness their child embraced by their teammates after a win.
  • And we can each experience the joy that comes from realizing that the best within us is possible for all of us.

Every day, I am grateful for each person in the Special Olympics community who decides to show up and help us make the world a more inclusive place. For those who are committed to healing the fear of difference and treating everyone with dignity. For those who, in the face of challenges and obstacles, continually choose joy, love and acceptance. It’s what the Special Olympics movement is all about.

Wishing you and your family a joyous Thanksgiving,

David Thomason, Special Olympics Virginia President