Although Alyssa Neil has an intellectual disability, she lets nothing get in her way. Eight years ago she became an athlete with Special Olympics Massachusetts and the organization opened up a new world of opportunity for the nineteen year-old from Holyoke. On June 25-July 4, Neil will experience a new challenge when she travels travel with five additional athletes to Athens, Greece to compete in the 2011 World Games in track and field. She is thrilled for the opportunity to represent the United States while competing on the world stage and forging new friendships with top competitors from around the globe.
Neil and her family became fully immersed in Special Olympics when she initially began with the organization. They find training and competitions to be an opportunity to do things together. Neil’s family is incredibly supportive and regularly volunteers and participates in Special Olympics events, competitions and campaigns. On the field, Neil is a multi-sport athlete who has medaled in soccer, bowling and bocce. She feels Special Olympics has given her the opportunity to be part of something bigger than herself and since 2008 she has been a member of the International Youth Activation Committee and the Massachusetts Youth Activation Committee. In this capacity, she and others work to promote inclusion and opportunities for those with intellectual disabilities.
The YAC has given Neil the opportunity to travel and represent the organization in Washington and Nebraska. She is anxiously looking forward to the opportunity to travel outside the United States when she flies to Greece for the World Games. She knows the opportunity will further increase her confidence; provide great opportunities, memories and friends. Good Luck Alyssa!