Capitol Hill Day 2021

Athletes and Unified partner represent Tennessee in virtual meetings with members of Congress
Capitol Hill Day 2021 Rep Jim Cooper Group Photo.png

Another successful Capitol Hill Day is in the books! Capitol Hill Day looked a little different this year for delegations representing Special Olympics programs across the country. While we couldn't travel to Washington, DC to meet with Congress at their offices at the Capitol, we were able to participate virtually.

A group of 3 athletes, 1 Unified partner and 1 teacher/coach prepared for weeks in order to ask Tennessee Members of Congress for their continued support for federal funding for Special Olympics health and Unified Champion Schools programming. Through storytelling and data, this delegation conveyed the impact that Special Olympics has had on their lives and that of their fellow athletes.

I've been teaching my fellow athletes exercise tips and healthy cooking and eating advice. We need your continued support so we can provide more health care, fitness, nutrition, and education programming to more athletes with intellectual disabilities across Tennessee!"
Alex Hannah, Athlete Leader from Memphis

A highlight for the group was being joined by several special guests throughout our time "on the Hill." Special Olympics Chairman Tim Shriver joined for one meeting and spoke about how the Special Olympics movement is a movement that sets an example for inclusion for all, through actions of athletes in their own communities. Another bright spot of the day was being joined in another meeting by Special Olympics CEO Mary Davis and actor John C. McGinley, a Special Olympics Global Ambassador, who spoke about the importance of Special Olympics health programs in providing free screenings to athletes, and medical training for working with people with ID to medical providers.

Athletes Alex, Haley, Daniel and Unified partner Josh did an outstanding job throughout a long day of virtual meetings. We're grateful to the offices of the following Senators and Representatives for taking the time to listen to our stories and for their continued support for the Special Olympics movement:

  • Chris Kelly for Senator Marsha Blackburn
  • Eliana Goodman for Rep. David Kustoff
  • Liam McDonald for Rep. Tim Burchett
  • Holly Hendrix for Rep. Chuck Fleischmann
  • Nick Baker and Jason Kroitor for Rep. John Rose
  • Rep. Jim Cooper and Bess McWherter

Want to convey your support for continued Special Olympics health and education funding to your elected officials? Click here to send a message to your Members of Congress today!