Jul | 26
Special Olympics USA Games

Looking Back: Our Feet Rise and Fall Together

Here at Brooks, we rally around our purpose of inspiring everyone to run and be active. With Seattle playing host to the recent Special Olympics USA Games, and as an official partner of the Games, we truly utilized this opportunity for our employees to connect with the athletes, coaches and volunteers that brought this special event to life.


Team Brooks rallied 313 volunteers throughout the Games. Volunteer tasks ranged from event support and working directly with athletes, to staffing the Brooks booth in the Fan Zone, where visitors could acquire limited-edition Brooks pins and shoes and athletes could locate their name on the notable name wall.


Brooks Running Partnership with Special Olympics, Brooks Running Volunteers at Special Olympics, Brooks Running Special Olympics Donation, Brooks Running at Special Olympics USA Games

Photo by Leo Mallari


We inherently knew this partnership would be a key moment for our employees, friends and family members, but it proved to be so much more than a simple volunteer opportunity. Experiences and stories are best described by those who lived them and some of our employees were willing to share their takeaways with you.


“The Special Olympics USA Games was a once in a lifetime opportunity to connect with our community in a unique way, meet and cheer on athletes from around the U.S. and work alongside co-workers I don’t get a chance to see every day. I was lucky enough to experience the USA Games from start to finish, including cheering on the Law Enforcement Torch Relay, rooting for athletes as they paraded to the Opening Ceremony, connecting with athletes, coaches and spectators in the Brooks booth, and volunteering out on the track. It was so fun to be surrounded by the positive energy that these Games brought. Throughout the week, the joy and sportsmanship the athletes expressed was amazing! I loved getting to chat and hear about their journeys and watch them compete.


“As I experienced the USA Games from several different venues, the same sentiment remained throughout, these athletes are true competitors and brought so much heart, determination and strength and I’m grateful I got to be a part of it.” – Danielle Lopez, operations executive assistant


“Working to fit shoes at the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes Fit Feet fitting room was an absolute blast. I found that the experience really put a lot of different things into perspective. The smiles and appreciative attitude the athletes displayed resulted in something deeply profound. They were completely ecstatic, thankful and respectful, simply because they were getting a pair of Brooks shoes that genuinely fit them and felt good on their feet. For Brooks to be a part of this experience was simply great and truthfully, we were fortunate to have this opportunity. These were some of the bravest and humblest athletes I’ve had the pleasure to work with. Many of the athletes said they felt so lucky to be working with us to receive a proper fitting pair of shoes; we had to remind them that we were actually the lucky ones to have the chance to work with them! It felt important to remind them that they were the competitors, the athletes that were working so hard across multiple days and competing in various events. Brooks and our employees were truly there to support them in achieving their goals.”  – Zach Boteilho, senior footwear developer


Brooks Running Partnership with Special Olympics, Brooks Running Volunteers at Special Olympics, Brooks Running Special Olympics Donation, Brooks Running at Special Olympics USA Games

Photo courtesy of Special Olympics USA Games


“I’ve always wanted to help out, in some way, with the Special Olympics. Once I found out that Brooks was going to be a major sponsor of the Special Olympics USA Games, I was really excited, as I would finally get that opportunity. Volunteering at the Games far exceeded my expectations. My volunteering included assisting with the shot put, the start line for the relay races, and I escorted athletes to the podium during the awards ceremonies. I loved cheering for the athletes and getting to meet them first hand. The high fives and hugs were endless, and the athletes were all so positive, encouraging and supportive of each other. During the shot put event, I overheard positive and encouraging things being said, such as, “Good job,” or, “It’s okay, you’ll get it next time.” One of my favorite moments occurred as I was walking a group up to the podium, I was chatting with the athletes, one’s name was David. He ended up placing second place in one of his events. When he stepped off of the podium, I said to him, with a simultaneous high five, “Congratulations! You didn’t tell me that you were such a big deal, and got second place!” He immediately gave a huge smile and big hug, and thanked me. I am so thankful for this opportunity, and plan on staying involved and/or volunteering with Special Olympics, in the future.” – Jennifer Goudge, senior supply planner


“Community involvement has always been a significant part of my personal and professional lives and it was extremely gratifying for me to see Brooks align so closely to that, even so early in my career with the company. I knew that we had a close partnership with the Games but didn’t anticipate the level at which our employees embraced the message and initiatives until I was volunteering at the Games with the athletes. Everywhere I turned, I met smiling and happy Brooks employees, genuinely excited to be part of the activities and to be there supporting the incredible athletes. The experience helped to validate my decision to continue my career at Brooks, but more importantly made me so proud that my new coworkers care so deeply about the community they are a part of.”  – Shane Evans, senior social media marketing manager


As a company, we are grateful for this opportunity to build connections and make an impact on lives of others, united by sport and through the run.


Learn more about how Brooks sponsored Special Olympics athletes Andy Bryant and Colleen Bryant, our connection to two Special Olympics USA Games Ambassadors and our partnership.

About Alina Steiner
I’m a true Pacific Northwest gal with a passion for golden retrievers, live music, flannel, and the outdoors. I run, albeit not fast, and I definitely #willrunforfroyo. Three things I can’t live without: PB&J sandwiches, lip balm, and my Brooks Greenlight Tights.

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