13 March 2019

Special Olympics athlete and motivational speaker Loretta Claiborne visits NYU Abu Dhabi


NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) welcomed Special Olympics athlete and global motivational speaker Loretta Claiborne, along with over 100 athletes from the UAE and US Special Olympics teams to its campus for a special film screening. As part of the Determined! film series, and in collaboration with the US Embassy, The Loretta Claiborne Story screened on March 12 to a packed audience.

Claiborne was greeted on arrival by NYUAD student athletes, US Embassy officials, and NYUAD’s official mascot Faiza the Falcon. Prior to the screening, Claiborne delivered inspirational opening remarks in which she described life’s journey being about: “simply falling over and getting back up again.” She also encouraged participating athletes to try their best and make their respective countries proud.  

The film documents Claiborne’s life and how she was introduced to the Special Olympics, which she described as a “turning point” in her life. Claiborne won her first gold medal in the 1983 World Games, and has since won dozens of medals at various events; she is also a seasoned athlete in karate, skiing, skating, and basketball. She holds the women’s record for the 5,000m run in the Special Olympics World Games for her age category, and has been featured in the top 100 women at the Boston Marathon twice.

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