Special Olympics Oregon has so much to offer this summer. Our Summer Virtual Games (June 1st through July 30th), SOOR Active, esports presented by PlayStation, Unified Champion Schools educator enrichment, Dog Days of Summer and so much more! Whether you are joining us on zoom, supporting our programs by fundraising, or volunteering your time, we are greatly appreciative.

Joining the Special Olympics movement means something special. It's a way to connect with others and share the joy of sport and play, train and compete, challenge your ability, and celebrate achievements together. Tens of thousands of people across Oregon are stakeholders in pursuing the goals of SOOR's mission and this month we want to celebrate an individual who embodies them, Kathy Webb (Director, Employee Community Engagement, Social & Community Impact for Nike). Kathy has championed Youth Games presented by Nike for the past 14 years. Kathy is a true hero to SOOR and her passion for inclusion through sport and play has helped invite over 5,000 young athletes and over 4,700 Nike employees into the SO movement!

We invite you to join the movement and stay in the game with us!
Britt Oase 
CEO, Special Olympics Oregon 
June 7th
Season begins
June 20th
11:00 AM

SOOR is celebrating our LGBTQ+ community as part of the Portland Pride virtual Parade
June 22nd
10 AM - 1 PM 

Virtual Unified Summer Educators Workshop
July 31st - August 1st

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!

Nike’s mission is to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world; and share their unwavering belief that if you have a body, you are an athlete. Since 2007, Special Olympics Oregon (SOOR) and Nike have partnered to host the Special Olympics Oregon Youth Games, with more than 5,000 youth participants.

This year, SOOR and Nike joined forces with local companies Raise Agent, ZP Productions, and Engagez to create a Virtual Youth Games venue that was open to participants from May 3 - 6.  We cannot thank the University of Portland men’s and women’s soccer teams, University of Willamette men’s basketball and women’s soccer teams, Fulcrum Fitness instructors, and Nike employees enough for the sixty sport videos they made for the event.

“Nike is overjoyed with the first-ever Virtual Youth Games. The virtual venue sport videos looked amazing and encouraged participants to be active. We are happy to partner with Special Olympics Oregon to get kids moving even in a virtual format," said Patrice Thramer (Sr. Director, Global Employee Community Engagement for Nike).   

The hope is to return to the Nike World Headquarters for the next Youth Games event, but Special Olympics staff are grateful to have been able to engage and connect with new families online during the past year when they needed us most. As one parent shared, “This was an amazing first encounter with Special Olympics and we look forward to participating in the future.  Thank you for the Nike Play Bag. It provided a lot of items we enjoyed using for the Special Olympics Virtual Youth Games and beyond. Thank you!”  

Watch the Opening and Closing Ceremonies today! 

by Jean Hansen
Kathy Webb
by Jean Hansen

Kathy Webb (Director, Employee Community Engagement, Social & Community Impact for Nike) created this incredible opportunity 14 years ago and it’s never become wash, rinse, repeat. “Kathy’s leadership and commitment to the Special Olympics Oregon Youth Games is legendary,” said Caitlin Morris (VP Social & Community Impact for Nike). “She’s been at the helm of the Youth Games since it began in 2007 and brings so much heart and innovation to what’s become one of the most beloved employee volunteer events at Nike WHQ and an unforgettable first-time sport and play experience for SOOR kids.”  
Jorge Casimiro (Chief Public Policy & Social Impact Officer for Nike) shared, “For Kathy, it has always been about the young people and the benefits sport and play bring them. As such, Kathy expects excellence from everyone who plays a role in Youth Games, and she looks to raise the achievement bar each year because we all believe the participants deserve the very best that Nike, our teammates, and the community have to offer.” 

When asked about the impact Kathy has had on Special Olympics Oregon athletes, Britt Oase (Chief Executive Officer, SOOR) asked how many pages the story would be? “While it is her preference to stay behind the scenes, make no mistake - Kathy is the heart and soul of this event. She makes magic happen. We’ve had an impressive line-up of Nike athletes attend Youth Games, each year, including: Sarah Reinertsen, Ironman Triathlete, and Paralympian; Misty May-Treanor, three-time Olympic Gold Medalist beach volleyball player; Galen Rupp, three-time Olympian, and two-time Olympic Medalist distance runner; Mariel Zagunis, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and Bronze Medalist fencer; Marlen Esparza, Olympic Bronze Medalist Boxer; and Laurie Hernandez, U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team member, and Olympic Gold and Silver Medalist. The athletes make the kids feel so important and they add a wow factor that we only achieve because we are in Nike’s backyard.” Britt went on to share that “what impresses our staff the most is the support we receive from Nike employees. Kathy is so well-respected on campus and has built such a tremendous experience that the 500+ volunteer opportunities available exclusively to Nike employees fill up in less than an hour after they are launched.”   
Many of those Nike employees fall in love with Special Olympics through this event and continue their volunteer work with SOOR as Unified partners, coaches, volunteers with the local community programs, and by serving on SOOR’s Board of Directors and Young Professionals Council. Kerry Sobol, (VP, Global Partnership Transformation for Nike and Special Olympics Board member) smiled when she recalled her first Youth Games and the joy she had when she was able to run side-by-side with one of the participants, cheering him along to the finish line. “I was hooked. When I was approached about joining the Board, I jumped at the chance and have loved working with the staff, other Board members, and with Kathy, to be another liaison for the incredible relationship between Nike and Special Olympics Oregon.” 
Kathy is an advocate and a champion for Special Olympics Oregon in more ways than Youth Games. She loves the inclusive work in the Special Olympics Oregon Unified Champion Schools program and has even found Special Olympics athlete leaders to speak in front of employees. Patrice Thramer (Senior Director of Global Employee Community Engagement for Nike) shared that: “Kathy has been with Nike for over 40 years, and in those years, she’s never ever lost sight of how important it is for everyone to enjoy physical activity and sport. She embodies the best of Nike in all aspects of her work.”  
Kathy – from your Special Olympics Oregon family: You make the world a better place, certainly for our athletes. Because of your humble nature, most of them will never know the name of the woman (who has a contagious smile) responsible for introducing them to sport, being a catalyst for friendships, and creating an opportunity for them to live a healthier life. For those of us who have the pleasure and honor of working with you, we want to thank you for being such a force of good and a delight to work and play with.   
Clear Creek Middle School
by Jean Hansen
Jori Weinberg, Special Education Teacher at Clear Creek Middle School involved her entire classroom in Special Olympics Oregon’s Virtual Youth Games this year! Her students had a lot of fun doing the activity videos together and using the red balls. 

“I really like that many of the activities can be done alone and in a small space. We have spent a lot of time talking about these 2 things. You do not need a lot of room to be active! You can also use the equipment when you’re home by yourself. Of course, playing with friends is way fun, but there are other ways to be active.” 
Dominic Flesey-Assad
article by Caitlin Buyserie

The SOOR Active Move Challenge pushed athletes to see how many minutes of exercise participants could log each week from April 5th through May 2nd. Any type of intentional exercise or movement counted toward their minutes. Participants self-reported their minutes, steps, and types of exercise each Monday.
Multnomah County athlete, Dominic Flesey-Assad, excitedly took on the role of ‘Move Challenge Ambassador’ when we requested his help! In that role, Dom helped us encourage SOOR Active athletes to get moving and reminded everyone to track their exercise throughout the month. Dom shared his daily progress in SOOR Active through posts, photos, and videos and encouraged others to do the same. Dom personally logged 2,733 minutes of exercise and walked 410,731 steps (194.3 miles) during the challenge.

We are so proud of Dom and his dedication to staying active. We really loved seeing him out on his daily walks and appreciate his willingness to encourage others to stay active - keep up the great work, Dom!

Dillon Vibes
article by Caitlin Buyserie

When Dillon moved to Portland in 2018, he was not quite sure what he wanted to do professionally. He got a job working the front desk at a gym and quickly fell in love with fitness, eventually teaching group fitness for a year and finally became certified as a personal trainer.
As his career progressed, he realized that he wanted to offer his knowledge and skills to people who may not have access to resources and would benefit from extra movement and positivity.  “Moving our bodies is one of the most important parts of living a healthy lifestyle," says Dillon. The desire to share his passion and love of movement lead him to Special Olympics Oregon.


Brought to you in partnership with Oregon Law Enforcement Torch Run, Plane Pull presented by Subaru returns for the sixth year. After taking a year off during the pandemic it's once again time to pull for a purpose in support of athletes across Oregon.

Join in on this unique challenge of strength and teamwork! Teams will compete for the fastest time in pulling an aircraft 50 feet across the tarmac.
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.