Special Olympics Arizona athletes cope with COVID-19 restrictions

Katie Langan and family getting ready for Breakfast With Champions - Wednesday, Oct. 28

By Paul Cicala, TUCSON (KVOA)

Some high school, collegiate and professional sports have found a way to compete during the COVID-19 pandemic, but that is not the case for Special Olympics.

Still, the show must go on!

Special Olympics Arizona has a big fundraiser every year to bring much-needed donations to the special athletes in Pima, Santa Cruz and Cochise County. It’s called “Breakfast With Champions”.

Because of COVID-19, it’ll now be done virtually, on Oct. 28.

One family from Tucson’s eastside is counting down the moments for that breakfast, and getting the chance to compete once again.

Katie Langan, Special Olympics Athlete from Sahuaro High School, said, “Special Olympics helps me have fun and get exercise.”

However, Langan hasn’t been able to suit up in any sports because of the pandemic. It’s been tough for the entire Langan family, who rallies around Katie.

In fact, Katie’s brother, Jack, who’s competed alongside her as a “unified player” and as a coach also shared in the Special Olympics energy.

“My heart just exploded with pride,” said Michelle Langan, Katie’s mother, “I’m watching both my kids stand together, and they’re there to earn their first gold medal in basketball. I just cannot express the pounding in my heart, not to mention all of the medals that Katie’s got.”

Katie Langan shows off those medals with pride as she continues to pray and hope that she can get back to sports again.

“I really like to be included, and be on a team,” added Langan.

If you’re interested in helping the Special Olympics out, you can click here.

Each year, “Breakfast With Champions” proves to be a powerful, captivating event. Although this year has been exceptionally challenging for us all, it won’t deter The Special Olympics Arizona from hosting yet another incredible event, showcasing SOAZ Athlete stories, highlights and spreading our message of INCLUSION.

Join the fun on the evening of Wednesday, October 28 for a free event and get ready for ‘Breakfast For Dinner’!


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