Happy 1st Birthday to SOOR Active!  
SOOR Active celebrated its first birthday in May, making it an appropriate time to pause and appreciate what we’ve built together. Born out of necessity and uncertainty when Covid first hit, SOOR Active became the primary way we maintained connection and engagement with and between our athletes, volunteers, and supporters. What started as a solution to what we hoped was a temporary need has become an integral part of our programming that will last long after Covid is in the rear-view mirror. Never intended to replace in-person training and competition, it will be a supplementary way for athletes to participate in a variety of activities throughout the week and make friendships with their fellow athletes around the State. 
In the last year, SOOR Active has welcomed more than 1,200 members whose hometowns span across the U.S. and 15 other countries! We have had the chance to collaborate with over 20 facilitators who have hosted virtual fitness, wellness, and nutrition classes and 6 universities have engaged student-athletes with our Special Olympics Oregon athletes. We've danced, competed in sports competitions, learned how to cook, and pushed ourselves in fitness challenges! Families and athletes alike have learned mindfulness practices and positive ways to manage stress and anxiety. One of the things that have profoundly impacted me amidst an incredibly divisive time in our country is seeing people from every age group, background, ethnicity, ability level, and location throughout Oregon and beyond find common ground – we banter about our favorite sports teams, share recipes, and laugh…oh do we laugh! It’s refreshing – and if you haven’t participated in a SOOR Active social hour, we welcome you with open arms.
FUN FACT: The SOOR Active Walk ‘n Roll Challenge took place throughout the month of January 2020. The goal was to collectively walk, run, bike or roll 360 miles (the length of Oregon between Washington and California). The total mileage came to 918 miles!
While we cannot wait to see each other on the sports fields again, we are so excited to have SOOR Active as an evergreen program to support social connection and inclusion for everyone! Thank you to the athletes who have created much of the content, the various volunteers and supporters who have taken time to share activities and lessons, and a huge high five to SOOR’s Caitlin Buyserie and Alix Wasteney for having a vision and nurturing it over the last year. 
Happy 1st Birthday, SOOR Active!!
Special Olympics Oregon
Registration for Summer Virtual Games is now open!
Sign up as an athlete, Unified partner, or coach and start your training today. Registration closes on May 28th.
Save the Date: Summer Virtual Games Opening Ceremonies on July 12.

July 31st
Run, walk, bike, hike, swim, or paddle your chosen distance, at your own pace, to show your support for the athletes of Special Olympics Oregon!

September 18th
Get ready for this thrilling and unique challenge unlike any other! Teams compete in pulling an aircraft across a tarmac, all while raising funds for Special Olympics Oregon.

Thank You Supporters!

Nike, Nike employee volunteers, Nike athletes Sarah Reinertsen and Blake Leeper, SOOR volunteer Keith Forman, University of Portland, Willamette University, Raise Agent, ZP Productions, & Fulcrum Fitness
Youth Games Presented by Nike
For the past 14 years, Nike and SOOR have teamed up to host the Special Olympics Oregon Youth Games presented by Nike. These games are often the first introduction for young athletes (age 6 to 18) to learn about SOOR's programming, meet other families, and experience the power of sports and inclusion. This year, with the COVID-19 pandemic, Nike supported bringing the Youth Games to kids virtually. This first-ever virtual Youth Games event is focused on empowering kids to play and will introduce the basics of sports, fitness, wellness, and nutrition. Young people with intellectual disabilities can engage with their families and teachers through on-demand video content and a play bag full of equipment to keeps them moving at home.
George Flamboise
George Flamboise is an esports coach & Unified partner for the team “Rubber-Burners,” who came in first place in our Winter Virtual Games, Rocket League Esports League. When not coaching his team to victory, George is an Instructional Assistant at South Salem High School, where he is involved in their Unified Champion Schools program. Although George and his students could not take part in any in-person activities this year, he is glad that his team found our esports league. "Our athletes were upset that they were not able to participate with in-person sports due to COVID, however, when we heard that a Rocket League esports league was taking place at Special Olympics Oregon, we had to join. It was great fun to hear the commentary from our team as they competed against each other during the weekly practices and tournaments. It really was exciting for our athletes to still be able to participate and compete together even though they were not in person.” Congratulations team “Rubber Burners” on achieving first place. We look forward to seeing you back for our Summer Virtual Games. 
If you have an XBOX One or Xbox Series X/S, a PS4 or PS New Generation and would be interested in participating on an esports team, register today and join our Summer Virtual Games Esports League Presented by PlayStation. 
This year the LETR community celebrates its 40th Anniversary! The partnership between Special Olympics Oregon and Law Enforcement Torch Run continues to be such an important part of our mission. 

Terry Wright

Congratulations to Terry Wright who retired this month as Chief of Police in Tillamook, Oregon after 40 years in Law Enforcement. Chief Wright was a member of the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police where he was a driving force behind the Oregon Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. Thank you, Chief, for your support of Special Olympics Oregon through the years and we wish you much-deserved relaxation in your retirement!  
Unified Champion Schools
Virtual Youth Leadership Summit

Over 200 students and educators from 30 elementary, middle and high schools in Oregon attended the 2021 Virtual Youth Leadership Summit on Saturday, April 17th to celebrate inclusion. The theme of the Youth Summit was Connection and focused on the critical need for all students to feel seen, heard and valued in their schools and communities. 
Image imported from Mailchimp
You can watch the Opening Session here and listen to Guest Speaker, Tajha Ilerant
SOOR's Message on the International Stage 
Ticker News, Australia, aired an interview with our own Britt Oase about creating connections and engagement for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID). "As hard as the pandemic has been on everybody, one group in particular has dealt with an exceptionally difficult challenge: intellectually disabled individuals. Already more at risk for isolation than other members of society, the pandemic has created an even tougher environment of limited interaction and opportunities for physical engagement and exercise. The US’ Special Olympics has tackled this challenge with a program of virtual activities, challenges and plain fun that has helped these individuals stay physically fit, engaged and motivated. Special Olympics [Oregon] CEO Britt Oase is here to explain how you can support individuals in your community with activities that raise spirits, interaction and heart rate levels." 
Our Mission
Special Olympics Oregon provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children, youth and adults living with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.