On Saturday, August 19, a Kent County team of eight paddlers coached by Jack Brosius competed in the Special Olympics Maryland Kayaking Championship competition held at Washington College’s Hodson Boathouse.
The daylong event brought 101 Maryland kayakers together to compete in a championship still recovering from the pandemic pause in 2020.
The 100-meter, 200-meter, 500-meter, and 1,000-meter races were staged flawlessly from the College docks with a full-on display of enthusiasm and healthy competition.
Throughout the year, more than 8,000 Marylanders with intellectual disabilities train to participate in one of Special Olympics 20 competitive athletics programs.
For 53 years, Maryland Special Olympics has provided year-around training for Olympic-type sports “for children and adults with an intellectual disability, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in the sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.”
Maryland athletes competed in the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Graz, Austria.
The Spy caught up with President and CEO of Maryland Special Olympics Jim Schmutz to talk about how Special Olympics empower individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities by offering inclusivity and creating an environment where differences are not only accepted but celebrated.
This video is approximately four minutes in length. For more about Maryland Special Olympics, go here.