Congratulations to SOBC – Surrey athlete Susan Wang for being selected to serve as one of the ten 2024-2027 Sargent Shriver Global Messengers, a prestigious spokesperson role for the global sports movement.
Special Olympics Sargent Shriver Global Messengers (SSGMs) are powerful communicators representing their fellow athletes to the world. Their responsibility is to convey the urgency of inclusion, invite people into the movement, and demonstrate that Special Olympics is every day, everywhere, for everyone.
“It’s such a huge honour. My parents will be super excited,” said Wang upon learning she had been selected.
Wang has been involved with SOBC for over 13 years, competing in multiple sports at the provincial, national, and international levels. She is also an empowering voice off the playing fields, serving as a member of the SOBC Athlete Input Council, Special Olympics Canada’s Board of Directors and the Canadian Athlete Leadership Council.
“Special Olympics athletes are the most authentic representatives of our global sports movement,” said Mary Davis, CEO of Special Olympics. “Sargent Shriver Global Messengers are our strongest voices for inclusion, and I am proud for them to travel the world to spread the message of hope and inclusion.”
The new class of SSGMs will meet at Special Olympics headquarters in Washington, D.C. for in-depth training sponsored by Bank of America on May 6 to10 to fine-tune their skills as global spokespersons.
“As a long-time partner to Special Olympics International, Bank of America is committed to advocating for a more inclusive society by elevating the voices and stories of Special Olympics athletes worldwide” said Ebony Thomas, President of the Bank of America Foundation. “The Sargent Shriver Global Messengers program is just one example of the many ways that we partner to empower athletes, build their confidence, and break down societal barriers.”
Sargent Shriver Global Messengers are available for public speaking roles on inclusion, sports, advocacy, and other topics.
Wang joins representatives from Argentina, Guatemala, Ireland, Malta, Mongolia, New Zealand, Oman, South Africa, and the United States.
Named for the late Sargent Shriver, husband of Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Sargent Shriver Global Messengers have been selected through a competitive application process for more than 20 years. The 2024-2027 class of ten was selected from 99 nominations from 25 U.S. states and 29 countries.
Wang has been a part of the SOBC Athlete Leadership Academy, which has empowered her to be an impactful voice in her community. Through SOBC Athlete Leadership programs, athletes develop the skills and abilities to take on a range of leadership roles including public speaking, participating on Local Committees and Athlete Input Councils, and assisting as fundraising and program volunteers.
“Special Olympics offers many leadership opportunities for athletes to be role models and develop confidence. Not only does Special Olympics help athletes with intellectual disabilities succeed in sport, it helps them in life and athletes can make a difference in their community," Wang says.
We are so proud of Susan for this outstanding achievement and pumped to see her thrive in this new and empowering opportunity to grow the Special Olympics movement!