Dear Athletes, Families, Supporters and Fans,
President Abraham Lincoln once said that that the best
way to predict your future is to create it.
Fifty years ago, Eunice Kennedy Shriver believed in
a future of possibilities for children and adults with
intellectual disabilities. She was inspired by her sister,
Rosemary, who had an intellectual disability, and saw
the impact that playing sports could have on her life.
Eunice started a day camp in her backyard, which quickly
blossomed into the fi rst Special Olympics Games in
Chicago in 1968... and the movement has continued to
grow ever since. Today, Special Olympics has nearly fi ve
million athletes in 172 countries across the world.
As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Special Olympics
this year, it allows us a chance to refl ect on how far
we’ve come – and how much more is still ahead. Special
Olympics Northern California (SONC) has taken great
strides in the last few years in each of our three pillars of
service: community sports, inclusive schools programs
David L. Solo, President & CEO
and athlete health. As someone who has been in and around athletics my entire life, I am a fi rm believer
in the transformative power of sports and am proud of the impact that we continue to have in building a
more inclusive Northern California community.
Carrying out the mission of SONC and providing year-round sports programs, along with schools
and health initiatives, would not be possible without the support of our corporate partners, donors
and volunteers. Your impact allows us to host nearly 300 competitions a year, provide critical health
resources and fund this year’s delegation to the Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle. We’re excited
to cheer on our Team NorCal athletes! We are also continuing to expand our footprint on campuses and
currently impact more than 100,000 students across the region, using sports to bring together peers in
special and general education. Through these programs and others, we are working to transform our
communities and inspire people to open their hearts and minds, and to accept and include people with
So what awaits us in the next 50 years? It’s impossible to know for sure, but I’m confi dent that our
tomorrow will be an even better place for people with intellectual disabilities than today. In my three
years since joining SONC, I have had the pleasure of meeting many of our athletes, families, volunteers
and supporters – and I look forward to meeting many more at Summer Games and throughout the year.
Together, we are honoring Eunice’s vision and changing the world through sports.
David L. Solo
President & CEO
Special Olympics Northern California and Nevada