Heard Around the Games: Fall Games Day One

Day One of the 2022 Fall Games is a wrap!

What a day it was! Click here to view some of the photos we collected on day one of the Games.

We also talked to athletes, coaches, family members, volunteers, supporters, and fans at Fountain Valley Sports Park and here is what they said.

Nathan Erskine
“I play golf, bocce and bowling, golf is my favorite. But what I like most is helping other athletes.”

-Nathan Erskine, SOSC athlete from Huntington Beach.

Eyal Zuker
“All the players come to practice with such joy. They lose with grace and they win with grace. It’s a special experience for everyone.”

– Eyal Zuker, soccer coach from the Tri-Valley for 6 years 

Angel and Esther Rojas“Estoy eternamente agradecida para Special Olympics.” Translation, “I am eternally grateful for Special Olympics.”

-Esther Rojas, SOSC parent. On what her son, Angel, has gained by being involved in Special Olympics.


Vivian McGrew“I was introduced to SOSC by my daughter who worked with Special Olympics. I have been volunteering for 15-20 years twice a year, every year. My husband also got involved and has been volunteering for 10 years. I just love being here and watching everyone enjoy themselves.”

– Vivian McGrew, volunteer from Los Angeles

Pete Chavez“It’s contagious: the athletes are so happy and that makes me just want to smile. And that’s what it’s about. I have such a great time at the ceremonies giving the athletes high fives.”

-Deputy Pete Chavez, Orange County Sheriff’s Department


Rachel and Katie“I appreciate everyone coming and their support, they make it fun and special for us.”

-Rebecca Brewer, (left) from Vista. Katie and Rebecca, from San Diego County, met two years ago when they both joined Special Olympics. They have both competed in soccer, basketball, tennis, and swimming. Katie and Rebecca have developed a strong bond, as friends and soul sisters, since then.


Nicole and Blake Messenger“I have been an Special Olympics athlete for 8-9 years. I have also worked at Ralphs for 16 years. I love the interaction with friends at the Games…Blake and I (also an SOSC athlete for 5 years) were married last June!”

-Nicole Messenger, SOSC athlete with her new husband, Blake.


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