Going for Gold

July 4, 2016 John Calvo

Carole Piercy first volunteered for the Special Olympics in the 1970s when she was attending Arizona State University. As a student of recreational therapy, she was no stranger to individuals with disabilities, and yet none of her training prepared her for what happened next. “I was a hugger—they call them ‘greeters’ now—and I remember seeing [disabled athletes’] faces as they were running, and they were having the time of their life,” Piercy said. Though it was overwhelming at first, being hugged by so many sweaty athletes, Piercy saw how happy the event made them. A decade later she moved to Guam, and began teaching at Chief Brody Elementary School in 1982 where the Special Olympics was practically part of the curriculum.

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