For David, who has Down syndrome, his many achievements haven’t come easily. That’s where determination comes in – to keep pushing even when things seem hard. David says he learned that as a young athlete. “Special Olympics taught me to succeed, to set a goal and do my best,” says David. “It changed my life.”
David is also marking nearly 20 years working at the technology consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton. He and his family say his path to success began early; in many ways, it began with sports.
His mom, Kathleen, says young David worked hard to compete in local swimming events, where he was the only swimmer with disabilities. “But David was a competitor and wanted to be Number 1,” says his mom. “And that was hard in a pool of strong swimmers who broke records.” When he joined Special Olympics, Kathleen says he began to really gain confidence and build self-esteem. “He could be his best and be Number 1,” she says. “For us parents, the greatest thing was to see his joy and motivation…and celebrate his successes.”