By Greg Bach
Lucy Meyer has a powerful message worth hearing, embracing and sharing.
“It is important to accept and include all kids, but especially kids with disabilities no matter what,” says Meyer, the official spokesperson for the Special Olympics and the UNICEF USA Partnership. “We should be treated exactly the same as everybody else, especially girls with disabilities.”
Meyer travels around the United States and the world sharing the importance of inclusion to end isolation and abuse for children with disabilities everywhere, as well as the importance of sports for children with disabilities and having the opportunity to compete alongside those without disabilities.
Meyer has been to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Switzerland, Brazil, Azerbaijan and Jamaica to speak on these issues, and she has an upcoming trip to Montenegro. Plus, she is a frequent speaker at schools and events throughout the U.S.
“I like helping kids and making sure they get everything that they need to be healthy and happy and live great lives like I am able to do,” she says.
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL
This Friday, October 11th – known as International Day of the Girl – Meyer will be a guest speaker at the ninth annual UNICEF Chicago Humanitarian Awards Luncheon which honors local leaders making a global impact.
Every year on this date that celebrates the International Day of the Girl, UNICEF works with girls to amplify their voices and to stand up for their rights.
UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to save children’s lives, defend their rights and help them fulfil their potential from early childhood through adolescence.
Meyer, a five-time gold medalist swimmer of the Special Olympics, fell in love with the water at the age of 8, and gets in laps every chance she gets.
“When I’m in the water it just feels good to me,” she says. “I like to swim every day because I love it so much.”
Meyer was chosen to compete at the Special Olympics USA Games in 2014 in New Jersey, a national event held every four years in the United States.
And it’s an experience that has never been forgotten.
“I got to swim every day at the Princeton pool,” she says. “It was an incredible experience.”
Incredible is an appropriate description for the work Meyer is doing these days, reminding us all of the importance of inclusion in everything we do.
Valerie Arioto, former Pac-12 Player of the Year and Team USA Softball standout, on being a team player, performing at your best, the importance of playing a variety of sports during childhood, and more
Dr. Jennifer Etnier, professor of kinesiology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and author of Coaching for the Love of the Game, on helping volunteer coaches be positive difference makers for young athletes
Part Two of our conversation with Lisa Yue, Founding Executive Director of the Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation
Dr. Kristine Keane, co-author of the new book Be All In: Raising Kids for Success in Sports and Life, shares all-important insight on concussions, specialization, and more