On behalf of all Special Olympics athletes, Happy National Volunteer Week!

Crystal and her husband, Matthew at the Special Olympics World Winter Games 2017 in Austria.

Crystal Williams has been a part of Special Olympics for the past 16 years. During that time, she’s competed in curling and bocce, volunteered at Provincial Games and even met her now husband, Matthew Williams, who just received recognition as Special Olympics Canada Athlete of the Year in 2020.

Needless to say, Special Olympics has had a significant impact in Crystal’s life. 

“Special Olympics has changed my life by getting to meet new people that have different disabilities like myself and has made me realize that it’s okay that I’m different,” she shares. 

Crystal’s favourite part about Special Olympics has always been the community that forms between athletes, coaches and volunteers. 

This National Volunteer Week, Crystal shares a message of thanks on behalf of all athletes to the coaches and volunteers across the movement that have become her Special Olympics family:

“This National Volunteer Week, I want to recognize and acknowledge all of the volunteers throughout Special Olympics programs in Canada. You dedicate yourselves to supporting and celebrating us, and now athletes across the country want to return that gift. Thank you for being a part of a community that changes lives every day.

To all of the amazing coaches and volunteers that take time out of their own busy schedules to support us at sports practices, competitions, fundraisers and special events, we thank you and we appreciate all of you. 

As an athlete myself, I want to thank you for all of your hard work and dedication in making sure that our sports programs happen – and of course, make them fun for all of us! While we miss our in-person programming, it’s your faces and smiles that we miss the most!

On behalf of all Special Olympics athletes across Canada, we thank you for everything that you do for us. Happy National Volunteer Week!”


Please join us in celebrating the more than 17,000 volunteers across the country who are the backbone of our Special Olympics movement. Everyday, they #ChooseToInclude and transform lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities through the power of sport and community, creating a more inclusive Canada for all.

Volunteers - your time can be quantified, but your impact can’t. Here’s to you.

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Volunteer Stories

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