Cathy Betar

Images
  • Kaylee and Cathy
  • Cathy and Tamara
  • Tamara Parks at Nationals

Special Olympic Families

Cathy Betar believes in forming relationships with the athletes and their families. She provides the best opportunities she can for the athletes because she cares about them. Kaylee McLaughlin is a Special Olympian and a Global Messenger for the Special Olympics. Cathy has known Kaylee and her family for a long time and understands Kaylee's strengths and weaknesses. Marcia Difuntorum, Kaylee's mother, said, "Cathy recognized that while maybe sports wasn't something Kaylee was an overachiever at, talking was, so she sent her to training in Chicago to become a Global Messenger for Special Olympics. Cathy arranges and takes Kaylee to give speeches to service organizations or groups of people to share what Special Olympics is about" (E-mail Interview, 2015). Kaylee has gained so much confidence while speaking about the Special Olympics and Cathy was able to provide her with that opportunity. Tamara Parks is another Special Olympian that Cathy has impacted tremendously. Tamara has become an amazing swimmer and Cathy nominated her to compete at nationals in the summer of 2014. Teri Parks, Tamara's mother, said, "Cathy has given Tamara an amazing opportunity to continue to reach for dreams and goals that would never had been possible" (E-mail Interview, 2015). Cathy saw the potential in Tamara and did everything she could to provide Tamara with the opportunity to improve even more.

The Special Olympics provides opportunities for individuals with special needs that everyone should receive. Tamara Parks is an athlete who has truly been impacted by the Special Olympics. Tamara began participating in Special Olympics in 2010 and has never been the same. Teri Parks, Tamara's mother, says, "Although you could see she wanted to be playing sports like everyone else around her, she was constantly set apart from other "normal" kids. SO has given Tamara a chance to learn new sports, develop skills related to those sports, to realize her potential as an athlete, and to be "normal" around others with intellectual disabilities. She was accepted from day one" (E-mail Interview, 2015). Tamara received the opportunity to go to nationals for swimming because of the Special Olympics. The Special Olympics centers around inclusion. Teri Parks sees how much more included her daughter feels because of the Special Olympics. The athletes and their families are greatly impacted by the Special Olympics.

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