“Special Olympics brings sports to those who may not otherwise have the opportunity to play. But it’s much deeper than that. Their initiatives promote understanding, acceptance
and inclusion between people with and without intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics has created a model community that celebrates people’s diverse gifts. They have helped my brother David, and other individuals, to recognize their individual strengths and to build a healthy self-esteem and sense of self-worth. As a sister, this is all I want for my brother. So I feel deeply connected to the mission of Special Olympics.”
This is why Kiely Turgeon has chosen to run the 2017 Boston Marathon for Special Olympics Massachusetts. For Kiely and her family sports has always been a part of their lives. Growing up, her younger brother David, who has autism, was not given the same opportunities she had of playing sports through the school community. That’s why Special Olympics has been so important to her and her family. “Special Olympics programs give hope for those who face adversity and challenges in situations most of us will never experience.” It is a cause that is near and dear to her heart.
Kiely, who now lives in New York City, was raised in Scituate, Massachusetts. Like many of our other runners she grew up watching the Boston Marathon and always wanted to be a part of it. “I have fond memories of watching from Comm Ave alongside my cousins, uncles and aunts and then celebrating post-race at my Uncle and Aunt’s house, located near the finish line.” With two half-marathons under her belt Kiely feels now is her time to run.
Working full-time and going to graduate school part-time has posed some challenges to her training. “It has been challenging for me to squeeze in training while maintaining everything else.” Waking at 4:00am some mornings in the freezing cold to do training runs has sometimes pushed her to her limits. “Sometimes I am at the very edge of my physical ability where my legs feel like they’re about to fall off. But I feel a passion for the bigger picture. It’s the kind of work that I’m willing to go through because I love the underlying cause of promoting the Special Olympics mission.”
We are so honored that Kiely has chosen to support Special Olympics Massachusetts in her first marathon effort. We’re inspired by her dedication and wish her the best of luck when she takes to the roads from Hopkinton to Boston on April 17th.