Special Olympics Canada’s 2020 Athlete of the Year, Monique Shah, reflects on Black History Month

For Black History Month, we are celebrating Special Olympics’ Black athletes, volunteers and supporters who fight for inclusion every day on and off the field.

Meet Special Olympics Ontario’s Monique Shah. She’s been with Special Olympics for 23-years, participating in bowling, bocce, curling, athletics and snowshoeing. She was named Special Olympics Canada’s 2020 Athlete of the Year. Read below for a Q&A as she reflects on Black History Month and the importance of diversity.

Q: Is there a Black athlete who has inspired you?

A: Mohammad Ali is a Black athlete who inspires me and a lot of people around the world who are not Black. His image, story and contribution can be seen and felt around the world in sport and in life. He stood up for truth, principles, and justice regardless of the cost.

Q: Why is diversity and inclusion important in sport?

A: Diversity and inclusion are important for everyone to consider both in sport and life because it is a reminder for us to have empathy and understanding. When all are included, we have an opportunity to become better individuals and strengthen our skills and communities.

Q: How do you fight for inclusion?

A: I show up and I participate and encourage others to do the same. In order for the fight for inclusion to be successful, it requires active participation and implementation all year round from all members of society.

Thank you, Monique!

Read more Black History Month reflections