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 with fellow Marathon teammate Rachel Dill at a training run.
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 supporting 2016 Marathoner Doug Keith
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®.
You can support Greg’s 2017 Boston Marathon experience TODAY!