Sarah Espanol

Youth Leader

Hometown: Vienna

How long have you been with Special Olympics, and for which sports?

I was a Special Olympics track coach in New York starting in 2000, and then had the opportunity to be a coach in Virginia at Marshall High School starting in 2018.

How has Special Olympics changed your life?

Special Olympics brings me life: it's pure joy and love. I am proud of the students at Marshall High School who have created a true team of peers - where students with and without disabilities are made to feel that they all belong. Special Olympics is not just good for folks with disabilities. Special Olympics is also great for people without disabilities. We all have the need to feel seen. Special Olympics makes people feel seen!

What makes you most proud?

I'm very proud of my student leaders! They are fabulous leaders and role models for the Unified Team. am proud of the love that my students show for one another. I am proud that families of my students both with and without disabilities- have said that they feel that the Unified Team has created a place where all students can feel that they belong. One of my students shared, during his basketball senior night celebration, that he was most proud of being the leader of our Unified Team. How great is that?

How are you preparing for USA Games?

I'm getting everyone in our community ready to support the athletes and coaches! I'm ready to help out!