How much do you know about intellectual disabilities?
In a talk that garnered a tearful standing ovation, Matthew Williams demands equality and respect for individuals with intellectual disabilities, told from the perspective of a Special Olympics athlete. Recorded at TEDxVancouver at Rogers Arena on November 14, 2015.
Matthew Williams is a firm believer in the power of sport to transform lives. He has felt it firsthand. Prior to finding Special Olympics, Williams struggled to fit in and keep up with his peers. When he joined Special Olympics in Grade 8, it had a profound impact on his life, helping him make friends, providing him with self-confidence, and giving him an opportunity to participate in sports.
Williams has achieved a great deal in his decade with Special Olympics. He competed in the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in basketball, where the first-ever Canadian basketball team to participate in a World Games finished fourth. He has also participated in track and field, swimming, floor hockey, and curling.
At just 23 years old, he has become a Special Olympics International Sargent Shriver Global Messenger and a member of the Special Olympics International Board of Directors, where he shares athlete perspectives with leaders of this global movement. His goal is to spread the message and vision of Special Olympics far and wide.