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 Quebec’s Gabriel Dupuy. An athlete for the past eight years, he participates in athletics and Powerlifting. Read below for a Q&A as he reflects on Black History Month and the importance of diversity.
Q: Is there a Black athlete who has inspired you?
Usain Bolt: He's a great athlete. He has been a role model to me, because of his perseverance and his willingness to always improve in order to become a great athlete.
Andre De Grasse: He is a young athlete who has made his way among other top athletes. I identify with him a bit because of his journey to get to where he is. He also perseveres, as he had to work hard to get to the Olympics. It was remarkable to see him running with Usain Bolt.
Q: Why is diversity and inclusion important in sport?
A: This is of great importance, because it allows athletes to evolve more, to surpass themselves, to value themselves. As an athlete with a disability, training with a group on a regular basis has helped me to surpass myself and has allowed me to work more on my running techniques. I show that even with a disability, you can still fit in, and other athletes see me first and foremost as an athlete and not as someone with a disability. Inclusion helps to avoid isolation.
Q: How do you fight for inclusion?
A: For my part, as an athlete participating on a regular track and field team, I tell my friends about my experience in sport, my integration and my journey. Showing them the result of my efforts (my medals) could perhaps encourage them to join a sports group.
Thank you, Gabriel!