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Nyasha Derera Celebrates the 2023 World Games in Berlin

Nyasha Derera giving a thumbs-up.

The 2023 Special Olympics World Games in Berlin made me feel at home, welcomed, loved, and embraced. It felt like there was no other place in the world like Berlin. The atmosphere was life changing. It was a once in a lifetime experience that my fellow athletes and I will never forget: one that will always go with us, wherever we go, for the rest of our lives.

We as athletes have something in common, whether in my region or across the world, and share the same challenges, the same passion, same determination. We have all gone through setbacks that have helped us find a common ground that we can unite on: that make us feel like we are one, despite race, color, gender, and background. This is what makes the world inclusive and what makes Special Olympics athletes unique.

Nyasha Derera with Timothy Shriver and Mary Davis.
Members of the SOI Board of Directors meet on Friday, June 16th, 2023 to discuss the future of Special Olympics

As a little boy who didn't know where his family was or if he'd ever get on an airplane, never did I think I would meet presidents, ministers, and policy makers, or become a confident public speaker who advocates on behalf of those who are just like me—all opportunities that have been made possible solely by those who support and work behind the scenes at Special Olympics.

From the bottom of my heart, I am deeply thankful for the supporters of Special Olympics. Their support is directly impacting and reaching so many lives of underprivileged athletes like me.

Nyahsa dancing with other athletes.

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