Champions for 50: John Hancock & Greg Schwartz
John Hancock and Special Olympics athlete, Greg Schwartz are Champions for 50. Over the next two years, John Hancock has committed Boston Marathon bibs to Special Olympics Massachusetts. Greg Schwartz has committed to running the 2017 Boston Marathon – a feat he accomplished in 2015. Together, John Hancock and Schwartz will raise critical funds to expand access to athletic training and competition for individuals with intellectual disabilities while increasing public awareness through the most prestigious running event in New England.
To run the Boston Marathon you need to have perseverance, an unyielding desire to push past your limits and test your physical and mental abilities. As an athlete you have to be in peak form, you have to train, you have to endure and you have to want it. We know all of our runners this year have given 100% and are ready to cross that finish line… but we want to take the time to recognize one of our best.
Greg Schwartz stands above the rest as a shining example of why our volunteers, sponsors, partners and staff work so diligently and give so selflessly to Special Olympics. The moment you come into contact with Greg, he’ll put a big smile on your face. Even after a 14 mile training run, he is energetic, excited and positive. Anyone who can get a group of 50 runners to dress up in Star Wars themed apparel for a long Saturday morning run, is a serious rock star! Super Bowl weekend, Greg came ready to run in his TB12 Jersey carrying the sign ‘In Tom We Trust.’ That sign should have also said ‘In Greg we Trust’ because Greg has proven he can do just about anything he sets his mind to.
Greg first became involved with Special Olympics over 10 years ago. He has participated as an athlete in almost all we have to offer – from football and soccer to basketball, softball and track. Greg is a natural born leader and a crucial part of any event he is involved in. You can always find him cheering for his teammates, leading them by example, or coaching fellow athletes. It’s safe to say Greg has made a huge impact on Special Olympics as a star athlete. Greg continues to shine in spite of the many challenges he faces every day. Greg was diagnosed with Amblyopia when he was a young child. This causes the brain to favor one eye. When Greg was in his early 20’s he completely lost his vision in one eye and while some might consider this a road block, Greg knows it’s just another hurdle he is going to clear with grace and a relentlessly positive attitude.
In 2015, Greg was asked to run the Boston Marathon on behalf of Special Olympics Massachusetts. While he had never considered running before, Greg knew this was a perfect opportunity to give back to an organization that had given him so much AND to inspire other Special Olympics Massachusetts athletes competes with all year. It’s two years later and Greg is about to run his 3rd marathon. We are honored to show him the same support in his endeavor as he has shown us for over the last decade.
Greg and mom, Patti in a 2014 video about his training for the Boston Marathon:
Greg is running with a bib from the John Hancock Non-Profit Program. This program allows nonprofits like Special Olympics to provide marathon opportunities to fundraisers. John Hancock continues to build their legacy of strong community partnership by supporting sports programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities, here in Massachusetts. Funds raised through the Non-Profit Bib Program over the next two years will provide more inclusive athletic opportunities through Special Olympics Unified sports®.
About Special Olympics Massachusetts Champions for 50
As the Special Olympics Movement reaches its 50th anniversary, Special Olympics Massachusetts Champions for 50 will be highlighting 50 partnerships between Special Olympics athletes and community leaders – including corporations, small businesses, individuals, and professional sports teams. Each Unified partnership will strengthen their legacy of building a more inclusive community with a commitment to raise critical funds and increase awareness of Special Olympics here in the commonwealth.