The Rio 2016 Olympics and its controversies are now long past, but the Olympic games aren’t over for everyone. Meet Marty Brady—dishwasher by day, Special Olympic gold medalist by night.
Marty joined the Wesley Homes Lea Hill kitchen staff in 2014–hired by Director of Dining Services Abby Adams.
“In all the time I’ve known Marty, I’ve known him to be a very hardworking and dedicated individual. He’s very driven,” said Abby.
Marty has regularly participated in the Special Olympics since he was in 8th grade after being encouraged to join by his teacher. He has since won over 50 medals!
Special Olympics Washington is a year-round sports training and athletic competition with a wide variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. The events provide an opportunity to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and take part in the joy of sharing gifts, skills and friendship with their families and their community. More than 10,000 athletes participate in Special Olympics Washington activities with over 1.7 million worldwide.
As soon as Abby learned of Marty’s participation in Special Olympics Washington, she knew she wanted to get involved. Abby has since coordinated with Compass Group, Wesley Homes’ contract foodservice company, to prepare food for the events. In the last event, Boeing sponsored 20 food tables at which Abby prepared and served food for participants and attendees.
Special Olympics Washington relies heavily on volunteers to make the events successful and to make a difference for parents, family and friends attending the events. More than 8,000 volunteers support Special Olympics Washington activities serving as coaches, sports officials, committee members and on-site volunteers at competitions and fundraising events.
Abby has found this work very rewarding; it’s also been a lot of fun for her and her peers to dress up, enjoy great food and dance.
“It’s a carnival-like celebration–a real party,” said Abby.
Marty likes participating for many reasons. In addition to the great food, music and events, he gets to hear celebrities speak at some of the events. It’s also been a great opportunity as a shared experience for his family, and he has also made a lot of friends in the community over the years.
“It keeps me in shape, and it’s just a whole lot of fun,” said Marty.
During the last event in June, Marty won two gold medals for cycling a 5k. Until the next event this fall, Marty will keep in shape biking his usual two hour round trip from Auburn to Westfield Southcenter Mall in Tukwila and back.
For more information on attending or volunteering for Special Olympics Washington, visit specialolympicswashington.org.