Athlete Profile | Kellen Gerenser

Kellen Gerenser is headed to Richmond for the 2024 Summer Games

Kellen Gerenser is participating in this year’s Summer Games – an opportunity she wouldn't miss for the world. She thrives on the competition and the opportunity to reunite with her fellow athletes, forging bonds that go beyond the playing field.

Athlete Profile | Kellen Gerenser

Diagnosed with Williams syndrome and autism at 6 months old, Kellen has faced challenges, yet she refuses to let them define her. Instead, she radiates warmth, empathy and a deep care for others within her community.

"Special Olympics has taught me to be brave," Kellen said.

Kellen joined Special Olympics in 2004 and since then, her involvement in the program has been transformative. It has boosted her confidence and allowed her to shine in various sports, including golf, tennis, skiing, horseback riding, basketball and soccer. Through Special Olympics, she not only has perfected her athletic abilities, but also serves as a Global Messenger and is passionate about spreading awareness of inclusion and acceptance.

Kellen is known as ‘Wonder Woman’ in her community because of her diverse talents. Off the field, she's an accomplished artist, focusing on oil painting, and a pianist. She also has built a career at Hobby Lobby and gives back to her community by sharing her paintings and volunteering at Mary Washington Hospital.

Supported by her parents, Bob and Lisa Gerenser, Kellen thrives. Lisa shared: “The support you get from Special Olympics is amazing. I honestly think we couldn't do anything without it."

Special Olympics enables you to share with other parents your experiences – the challenges and joys – that come with raising a special needs child.
Bob Gerenser

A coach himself, Bob witnesses firsthand the profound impact of the Special Olympics regularly, seeing athletes develop skills, gain confidence and demonstrate courage in the face of challenges.

For Kellen, Special Olympics isn't just about winning medals; it's about the sense of belonging, the friendships forged and the joy of competing alongside others who understand and support her journey as they continue to push the boundaries. As Bob beautifully puts it, "Truly, the athletes are always brave in the attempt."