Mary Davis, Ireland
CEO of the Special Olympics International
A life-long leader within the Special Olympic movement, Davis manages an international team of 250 people who are improving inactivity, injustice and social isolation by encouraging people to be productive citizens in their communities. With over six million Special Olympics athletes worldwide, Davis is the driving force behind making young disabled athletes dreams possible with the hugely successful Special Olympics World Summer Games that takes place every two years. In fact, when Davis took over in 2003, the Special Olympics had never taken place outside of America. Now, under her tutelage, the competition has been staged around the world with participation levels at an all-time high. The Special Olympics is indeed a special place for people and the Irish-born CEO has helped to continue inspiring the way the world views and understands the critical need for greater inclusion.
– Davis was key to signing WWE legend the Big Show as a global ambassador in August. As part of his role, the American creates an inclusive world through sport and fuels the spirit of the Special Olympic movement.
– She ran the New York Marathon in recent years, raising €80,000 for Special Olympics in the process.
– She has a keen interest in antiques and collects them while travelling around the globe.
Did you know…
Davis was a candidate in the 2011 Irish presidential election. Despite receiving support from six county councils, she came last in the voting system, securing just 2.7 per cent of the overall votes.
“We use sports and various activities to build confidence (of participants) and use our competition opportunities to show to the world the importance of sports in the life of the people with intellectual disabilities.” – Mary Davis (Source: The Economic Times)
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