Ben Simpson has been competing in Special Olympics Illinois for 25 years and is an active participant in basketball, equestrian, golf, snowshoeing, swimming, and his personal favorite, powerlifting! He is a familiar face at many State Championship events as a competitor, but will also be adding the title of assistant coach to his resume, serving in that role during this year’s Summer Games.
While certainly impressive, Ben’s success is hardly limited to just the field of play. In addition to his remarkable collection of medals, he is an energetic advocate for Special Olympics programs as an Athlete Leader, and was also recently elected to serve on the Special Olympics Illinois Board of Directors! Ben takes great pride in sharing his experience and vision for improving the Special Olympics experience for everyone involved. As part of his term with the Board of Directors, Ben’s voice will be instrumental in shaping a new strategic plan for the organization.
The variety of experiences Ben has enjoyed through Special Olympics have positively influenced his life. He credits his involvement in the program in helping him build confidence, become stronger, healthier, more outgoing, as well as being more patient. These traits have carried over into his work life and helped him become a trusted and respected team member at his place of employment – Casey’s! A member of Casey’s team for the past six years, Ben is very proud of his work and has made many good friends during his tenure. He received his foodservice certificate last year and is always excited to assist with the food when he gets a chance. Perhaps it’s the powerlifter in him, but it seems to be a great match!
A personal highlight Ben wanted to share was reciting the Special Olympics Athlete Oath at the 2017 Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games, helping to declare the games open as part of the Opening Ceremony. These words spoken in front of a packed football stadium serve as an important reminder for us all: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt”.