Special Olympics Canada Launches Innovative 'One-of-a-Kind Anthems' to Promote Inclusion Through the Power of Music

In recognition of the transformative power of both sport and music, Special Olympics Canada has unveiled a groundbreaking athlete-engagement tool called 'One-of-a-kind Anthems.' Developed in collaboration with Grey Canada, this innovative technology allows athletes to create their own personal anthems.

At Special Olympics Canada, we recognize the profound parallels between the transformative power of sport and the unifying force of music. Just as sport breaks down barriers, forges friendships and cultivates a more inclusive world, music possesses an extraordinary capacity to dissolve boundaries and ignite collective emotions that resonate at the core of our humanity.

"There's a message in every song. We may all interpret it differently, but we all experience it together - no one is left out," said Special Olympics athlete Matthew Fields.


Launching at Special Olympics Canada Winter Games Calgary


The five Athlete Ambassadors for the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games Calgary (SOCWG) were the first to pilot the new tool and create their One-of-a-Kind Anthems. Collectively, their five anthems inspired the theme song for the Games, and will play during every athlete ascension to the podium during medal presentations.

Listen to the official Medal Ceremony Walk-Up Song:

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"It's an honor to have my anthem inspire the walk-up song at the Medal Ceremonies," said Darby Taylor, one of the SOCWG Athlete Ambassadors. "Music has always brought us together and made people happy. I'm excited to be one of the first athletes to create my anthem and share it with my friends."

Music has long been recognized as a universal language that transcends barriers and unites people from all walks of life. For Special Olympics athletes, music holds a special place in their hearts, serving as a source of joy, motivation and empowerment.

"Music has always been my go-to when I need a pick-me-up," said SOCWG Athlete Ambassador Leonka Kaluha. "Having my own anthem will be like having my own cheerleader when I’m training or getting ready to compete."


Coming Soon to Special Olympics Athletes Across Canada 

Special Olympics Canada is excited to announce that 'One-of-a-kind Anthems' will be available to all 42,000 athletes across Canada with intellectual and developmental disabilities following the Special Olympics Winter Games Calgary 2024. The goal of the new tool is to unleash the voice of every athlete and foster more inclusive communities across the country.

"We believe that 'One-of-a-kind Anthems' will not only empower our athletes but also inspire others to join our movement towards a more inclusive society," said CEO of Special Olympics Canada, Gail Hamamoto. "We can’t wait to see each athlete create their personal anthem and be celebrated for their individuality and spirit through music.“

As the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games Calgary 2024 unfold, the launch of 'One-of-a-kind Anthems' promises to be a transformative moment for Special Olympics athletes across Canada, amplifying their voices and uniting them through the power of music.