Deborah Cully

Hillsborough County

My daughter, Samantha (Sammy) Cully lived overseas for her first eighteen years. That summer we were visiting Sarasota in the States. We were sitting in the center of the town square in a park when a group of Special Olympics athletes came through. Sammy asked if she could be a part of Special Olympics when we returned to the States to live. I immediately said “YES”!

Little did I know that we would still be participating for the next 25 years plus.

Sammy has participated in the following sports: ice skating, swimming, basketball, soccer, gymnastics, cross country skiing, sailing, stand up paddle, bowling, equestrian and powerlifting. Special Olympics has enriched Sammy’s life in so many different ways.

Is Sammy great at all these sports — not really. But she gives it her absolute best when she participates and loves belonging to Special Olympics Florida!

I can’t imagine a week or weekend without doing something relating to Special Olympics!



As we mark 50 years of making the world a more inclusive place, we want to hear your Special Olympics Florida story. Tell us your story by sharing a favorite memory or let us know what our programs have meant to you or the impact they’ve made in your life.  TOGETHER WE CELEBRATE!