SALT LAKE CITY — On Friday, June 21, Special Olympics Utah and the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies will partner to host a Community Leaders Breakfast featuring speaker Ms. Loretta Claiborne at the Jordan Commons Ninth Floor Board Room at 7:45 a.m. The breakfast is by RSVP only as there is limited seating. Please contact Special Olympics Utah for a reservation by Wednesday.
Claiborne is a world-class runner as well as a motivational speaker and Special Olympics athlete. She has competed and served as a public representative for the organization for over 25 years, speaking around the world to promote Special Olympics and the inclusion of persons with intellectual disabilities.
Special Olympics Utah and the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies is excited to offer an opportunity for community leaders and Special Olympics partners to hear from Claiborne, a long-time friend of Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver and an inspirational and accomplished athlete in the international Special Olympics movement.
Born partially blind and intellectually challenged, Claiborne did not begin to speak or walk until age 4. She was the fourth of seven children in a low-income, single-parent home in York, Pa., and was placed in alternative education early on. Although she proved to be faster than her peers during informal competition, Claiborne was pushed away from school-sponsored athletics due to her intellectual disability.
Now in her mid-50s, Claiborne has continued to run on her own and since completed 26 marathons with a personal-best time of 3:03. She has finished in the top-100 women in the Boston Marathon twice, in the top-25 women in the Pittsburgh Marathon in 1988, and holds a fourth-degree Black Belt in karate.
She was honored in 1996 at ESPN’s ESPY Awards with the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage; serves on the Board of Directors for Special Olympics, Inc. Executive Committee; and was the subject of a Walt Disney Productions Movie Biography, “The Loretta Claiborne Story.”
Claiborne communicates in four languages, including American Sign Language; appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” on three separate occasions; spoke to the Joint Session of the U.S. Congress as well as the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee on Disparities in Health Care for Intellectually Challenged Individuals; and has met with Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.