Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibility

Memphis Athlete Dreams of Opening Special Olympics Gym

Following a visit to the National Civil Rights Museum, Kenny Lurry has a dream to help his community
20230720_133721 copy.jpg

During a recent visit to the National Civil Rights Museum as part of Summer Camp, one Greater Memphis athlete reflected on what he learned and shared his dream for a future endeavor.

Kenny Lurry is an athlete from Memphis, Tennessee. His favorite sports are basketball and bowling. His first experience with Special Olympics was in 2018 and he’s “been having fun ever since.”

Last week in Memphis, it was their annual Summer Camp. Over 60 athletes ranging in age from 6 to 60 participated in the camp, and it wouldn’t be possible without an incredible number of volunteers. Throughout the week, which had a 1980s theme, campers participated in enrichment activities, field trips, dancing, historical trivia, musical trivia and so much more. For a first-time camp-goer, Lurry had a blast.

“I was able to do the things I enjoy most,” said Lurry. “This is my first time at summer camp. This is fun to me instead of being in bed all day because I’d sleep all day long. This is real fun.”

Exploring National Civil Rights Museum
Exploring the museum

One of the field trips during the week was to the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel. The museum contains multiple exhibits on the history of slavery in the United States of America, to the civil rights movement and beyond. With the location being the site where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was fatally shot, the visit came with a deepness of understanding of what the athletes were experiencing. This was the first time Lurry had been back to the museum since he was a child.

“I learned a lot of mind-blowing facts,” said Lurry. “It was good to learn the concept of freedom, especially when we look back at slavery and the civil rights movement.”

As Lurry reflected on his visit, he was able to relate it to the inclusion movement within Special Olympics.

“The one thing I love about Special Olympics is that we have freedom,” said Lurry. “You can be yourself. It’s about being together and not all about winning or losing. This is where you see Black and white come together. Being able to eat together, spend time together.” 

When considering his fellow athletes, Lurry has hopes and dreams like everyone else. He wants to provide Special Olympics athletes with a place where they can feel safe and healthy.

“My dream is to open a Special Olympics gym where athletes can come 24 hours a day,” said Lurry. “It would be a place where they can come work out and swim at no cost.”

At the heart of everything, Lurry is thinking about his community and his fellow athletes. Summer Camp provided athletes a chance to be together every day to create and build new friendships, while also learning more about history, their community and each other.

To learn more about Special Olympics Memphis, click here.

To make plans to visit the National Civil Rights Museum, click here.

Memphis campers
Memphis campers at the Lorraine Motel sign

Recent News & Stories

Vanderbilt Football's Bradley Ashmore Coaches at Fit-4-Life®

Ashmore is a Special Olympics Tennessee Anchor Impact Fund athlete
1 Min Read

Over 100 Athletes Screened at MedFest at Lifepoint Health

Athletes received physicals, optical and dental screenings
3 Min Read

Athletes Receive Dental Screenings From TSU and Health Kits From UnitedHealthcare at State Flag Football Tournament

Athletes receive tools for better healthcare thanks to incredible volunteers
1 Min Read