Hello friends! 
Thank you for being part of a local movement for acceptance, inclusion and wellness by bringing free access to sports for thousands of athletes in Oregon!

Special Olympics has created a model for how to include all people, regardless of age, gender, race, background or ability. We continue to provide meaningful and safe programming for our athletes through health education, virtual athletic training, esports and community networks for people with intellectual disabilities. 
Irene Song, 
Special Olympics Oregon Athlete
Since Special Olympics was founded in 1968, inclusion has been central to our mission and programs: fighting for the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities through the power of sports. We believe that people with intellectual disabilities have a fundamental human right to be included in all spheres of life, and we won’t stop fighting until we create a world that stops putting them on the sidelines, and instead embraces their differences.” (Special Olympics, Inc.)
Today the struggle for inclusion is more relevant than ever, but with the support, commitment and generosity of many we can keep this mission strong!

I invite you to join us at any of our upcoming events as a Unified Team on Rocket League, host a table at our virtual Breakfast with Champions event, attend a Wellness Wednesday program in SOOR Active or invite your friends to the Polar Plunge 2021. However you choose to participate, your presence means so much to the Special Olympics athletes, families, volunteers, staff and board.
Thank you,
Kirsten Goetz
VP for Development
Special Olympics Oregon
Esports League
August 10th, 2020
Breakfast with Champions
virtual event
October 14th, 2020
SOOR Active Events
Athlete Spotlight
Rachel Parsons
Athlete, Rachel Parsons, has spent the last 24 years of her life participating on the court with Special Olympics Oregon. Her favorite sports are Basketball, Volleyball and Bocce.  When COVID shut down in-person play, Rachel felt lonely and isolated. Eventually, she was able to find the courage to join Special Olympics Oregon’s online program called SOOR Active and turned lemons into lemonade.

SOOR just wrapped up our first ever Esports pilot season of Rocket League in June. The season lasted 6 weeks and every Monday night at 6pm, teams that added up to nearly 20 athletes jumped on their gaming consoles and played Rocket League together. With their gaming headsets, everyone was able to talk with each other and socialize while playing Rocket League (a game similar to arena soccer combined with bumper cars!)

Athletes are loving Rocket League!

Caleb Ingebresten first got involved with Special Olympic Oregon as an athlete through our Unified Champion Schools program at Forest Grove High School. Last winter, he played on the Pacific University Unified basketball team!

Caleb found SOOR’s Esports program to quell the boredom that comes with staying at home all of the time due to COVID safety precautions.
“I really liked the sportsmanship and comradery. Everyone was very kind towards each other and encouraging when we were playing.”

Caleb and his teammates have made friendships and connections through Esports that defy the boundaries of in-person play, “You get to meet more people that are all over the state and not just in your county to be involved.”

“It’s fun, everyone has good sportsmanship, and you get to meet new people and make friends – Join in!”

Thank you for your support
“It has been so much fun gaming on Unified teams and getting to know athletes has been such a blast!”
Volunteer Spotlight
Rydell Nelson

Rydell is currently a student at Portland Community College and first got involved with SOOR Esports beginning in May while SOOR prepared for our pilot season. Rydell put his expert gaming skills to work by providing technical and administrative support. His favorite part of volunteering on this program has been team development and getting to know the athletes.

Esports have proven to be a positive alternative for athletes during this time. Rocket League gives athletes an opportunity to stay in contact with their friends and talk to each other while engaged in an enjoyable competition. For SOOR athletes, Unified Partners and volunteers, like Rydell, online gaming has recently become the best way to hang out with friends!

Hero Spotlight
Pam Abrahamsson
Good people surround themselves with good people. We previously highlighted Jennifer Ruwart with Roger That Agency for her pro bono work in creating our beautiful website www.soor.org. Once complete, Jennifer felt the missing ingredient was a skilled story-teller and introduced us to Pam Abrahamsson. 

Pam’s resume is as impressive as she is delightful. She is the Founder of PRA Public Relations, an award-winning, market-ranked top PR firm in Portland. Pam delivers a track record of strategically-managed programs, insuring all facets of a communications program are implemented to meet and exceed key performance indicators and business growth objectives. She also manages integration of all communication channels, ensuring that public relations results are leveraged successfully across social, digital and content marketing initiatives. And – she just happens to love Special Olympics enough to provide her services pro bono. 

Pam has a dear friend in Washington, Carolynn Duncan, founder of TenX.org, who serves as a Special Olympics coach and has seen firsthand the impact sports can have for the athletes. She was so moved, she even joined the Polar Plunge a few years back, running into the frigid waters of the Columbia River in February to raise money and awareness for athletes in Oregon.
When Jennifer connected us, magic happened. Pam’s eyes lit up hearing about the thousands of athletes who participated in Fall and Winter sports (soccer, volleyball, aquatics, bowling, snow sports, basketball, and powerlifting) in late 2019 and early 2020.

Soon we found ourselves sharing these stories with reporters and received coverage on local news stations and in print media. Stay tuned to see upcoming coverage of our Esports League, SOOR Active virtual fitness and social programs, and what we have in store for the athletes this Fall!

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.