Special Olympics Global Messengers

"Special Olympics breaks down barriers and acts as a catalyst for social change around the world, and our Global Messengers are among our most powerful advocates as to what can be achieved through inclusion and acceptance."

Special Olympics Chairman
Timothy Shriver

Global Messengers are Special Olympics athletes who help spread the message and vision of the movement as well as the benefits they have gained by participating in Special Olympics. As leaders and message-bearers of the movement, Global Messengers communicate the powerful declarations of hope, acceptance, dignity and courage of Special Olympics athletes around the world. Only athletes can effectively relate the impact that the movement has had on their lives and the lives of their families.


While maintaining their regular sports training and competition schedules, Global Messengers serve a two-year term, and address audiences of government officials, business executives and the general public, sharing their personal stories of triumph with Special Olympics and communicating the powerful declarations of hope, acceptance, dignity and courage of Special Olympics athletes around the world.


The newest class of International Global Messengers (2007-2009) was chosen from nominations of more than 300 Special Olympics athletes from 60 Special Olympics Programs. Athletes were evaluated on their history of advocacy, public speaking aptitude, sportsmanship, personality, willingness to travel and enthusiasm for the Special Olympics movement.


Since the inception of the program in 1998, the International Global Messengers have proven to be the most effective spokespersons for the worldwide movement. Special Olympics athletes who have participated in the program have achieved tremendous success during and after their tenure. Some of their accomplishments include serving on the Special Olympics International Board of Directors, meeting with high-profile world leaders including U.S. Presidents George W. Bush and William Clinton and former South Africa President Nelson Mandela, authoring books, and hosting international televised events.


Global Messenger for Carbon County is George Bird. For information on having George speak at an event, please contact John Karnish karnishjohn@yahoo.com