Special Olympics ‘a second family,’ says Orillia’s Stephen Graham – Torch Run Ontario

Special Olympics ‘a second family,’ says Orillia’s Stephen Graham

Jul 22, 2018 by Frank Matys, Orillia Today

When the 2019 Special Olympics World Games kick off in Abu Dhabi next March, Orillia’s Stephen Graham will be there to shine a  light on an organization that has proved central to his life.

Graham was recently selected to represent Canada as a torchbearer during the opening ceremonies at the international event in the United Arab Emirates.

He and other Special Olympians, along with police, will participate as part of the Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg, a salute to participating athletes hailing from around the globe.

“I am very honoured,” Graham told Simcoe.com during an interview at his home. “I was the only one in Canada that got selected for it.”

The local man has accomplished much in his 36 years, and brims with pride when asked about the multitude of medals earned while competing in Special Olympics events nationally and internationally.

Sports have been central to his life, whether swimming, playing hockey, basketball, baseball, or curling, among other activities.

Graham recalls with vivid clarity his first floor hockey goal, scored during a game in Midland.

“I was so happy,” he said. “Just a rewarding experience.”

Graham joined Special Olympics at age 15, when his family moved to Orillia from Lindsay.

His involvement with the nonprofit organization, which serves people with intellectual disabilities, would prove life changing.

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