Carnegie Mellon University
May 04, 2017

CMU Says "Yes" to Special Olympians

By Laura Kelly

Special Olympics Western PA Spring Sectionals

More than 600 athletes competed in the Western Pennsylvania Spring Sectionals of the Special Olympics at Carnegie Mellon University on Saturday, April 29. Weather caused the cancellation of some events, but basketball games and swimming races gave the athletes and fans plenty to cheer about.

"We didn't let it rain on our parade!" said Lt. Joe Meyers of CMU Police.

Meyers was among dozens of police officers from the area who joined the CMU Athletics Department, ROTC and volunteers from across campus to host the event for the second consecutive year.

Matt Aaron, president & CEO of Special Olympics of Pennsylvania, welcomed athletes, coaches, volunteers and fans to the event, noting the importance of the Special Olympics.

"Our athletes often spend their lives in their schools and communities having people say no. Our athletes are used to going through life hearing, 'You have a disability, you can't do this,' or 'No, you can't be a part of this team,'" Aaron said. "Special Olympics is an organization that says yes to them. Yes, you can be part of a team. Yes, you can have friends. Yes, you can be a part of a broader community.

"From the very beginning of coming to Carnegie Mellon, everyone has embraced us and brought us into the community. That's what Special Olympics is really about," he said.

Meyers lauded the university's support.

"We had such an outpouring of enthusiasm and commitment from CMU. We doubled what we raised for Special Olympics last year with the dunk tank at Carnival, and that credit goes to Provost Farnam Jahanian for getting the deans involved," he said. "They're already wound up about it for next year! We're getting more and more folks from CMU involved. We're giving back to the community as a community."

To learn more about the Special Olympics, visit