Up to this point, we’ve talked at great length about the unity of the Special Olympics and how sports have a way of bringing everyone together with open arms. Company softball games, social gatherings etc. are all commonplace in our world, but how often does the new CEO of a major organization such as the Special Olympics take time out of their already hectic day to interact with colleagues and a number of the athletes from the Special Olympics District of Columbia region? Well, folks, that’s precisely what happened on October 21 as Janet Froetscher, the newest CEO of the Special Olympics shot some hoops and ran relays with the afore-mentioned others last Monday in our nation’s capital.
To give you some background on where the newest CEO hails from, Froetscher was recently named the new CEO of the Special Olympics after years spent as the president and CEO of the National Security Council. Prior to that, she led the Metropolitan Chicago division of the United Way. During her time with the United Way, Froetscher played a key role in the merging of 54 separate United Ways into a single entity. Previous CEO Dr. Timothy P. Shriver will retain his Chairman of the Board position that he has held since 2003.
The way the day worked was that the roughly 100 officials and athletes on hand were split into teams that featured a mix of those that have intellectual disabilities and those that don’t. The chief objective for the participants was to shoot a basketball at a square white target and grab the rebound in order to record points for the individual to score points for his/her respective team. To me, the fact that Froetscher in her first day on the job took her time to compete, speak with and pose for pictures with the athletes really stuck out to me as what the Special Olympics are all about. As previously mentioned, I’ve discussed how important unity is for the Special Olympic organization and perhaps, there is no better way to show it than to have the new CEO participate in sports with and get to know the athletes and officials that all help make the organization run smoothly and allow it to grow as much as it has over the course of time. The day’s activities brought everyone together and signified the happiness and joy that can result from playing sports. For a day, the office work and other daily tasks were put on hold.