What a Special Olympics athlete wants you to know about inclusion


Novie Craven has been a podcast host and Special Olympics athlete in Washington DC for over ten years. She also happens to have cerebral palsy on her right side, but she doesn’t let anything stop it. Novie’s current mission is to inspire people of all abilities and lead the way in advocating for inclusive health through her self-confidence and healthy lifestyle.

“I was born in 1989 at Howard University Hospital,” Novie said. “I was extremely premature and exposed to the drugs. The hospital said my right side was hemiplegic and I had cerebral palsy. My birth mother then abandoned me in the hospital. stay in hospital for 22 months My mom met me there while volunteering and fell in love with me She applied to be foster family and adopted me.

Novie has been a Special Olympics athlete for over ten years and currently works for Special Olympics. She is a gold medalist in bocce who represented DC at the Seattle Special Olympics and is the co-creator and host of the Inclusion Revolution Radio podcast.

“I was able to represent SODC at the United States games in Seattle, WA in 20018 and won a gold medal in bocce,” said Novie. “My job at Special Olympics International is to work as the Marketing Development Team Coordinator. This year I helped start a podcast,“ Inclusion Revolution Radio, ”hosting weekly podcast episodes. helping other colleagues when they need help.with projects. I learned more about Special Olympics and how and why Ms. Shriver started Special Olympics through this podcast. Plus, I enjoy talking to her. ‘fellow athletes about their involvement in Special Olympics and hear about what great experiences they have had through Special Olympics.

The path to the Special Olympics

“After I graduated from high school, I was very lonely,” Novie explained. “A family friend suggested we get involved in Special Olympics. My mom signed me up and the only sport I played was bocce. I was very nervous and didn’t know anything about bocce. However. , the staff and athletes of Special Olympics made me feel welcome, and I loved playing with Special Olympics. “

Founded by Eunice Kennedy, Special Olympics is a global movement of people creating a new world of inclusion and community. They are committed to ensuring that each person feels accepted and welcomed, regardless of their abilities or disability.

“All of the volunteers and unified partners were so kind and helpful,” Novie said. “A lot of them work for Special Olympics International. They know I loved being a part of Special Olympics and saw how I tried to help others get involved with Special Olympics. They suggested that I might enjoy working at the Special Olympics office in downtown DC since I moved to the area. “

Currently, Novie is the Marketing and Development Team Coordinator for Special Olympics International.


Novie had the honor of hosting the Inclusion Revolution Radio podcast last year.

“We started in June 2021 when my colleague came to me with the idea of ​​starting a podcast,” she explained. “As the host, I interview famous athletes, partners and supporters from around the world and ask them questions about their involvement with Special Olympics. In addition, I interview athletes, partners and supporters around the world and ask them questions about their involvement with Special Olympics. . The goal is to educate the world on our mission of inclusion at Special Olympics. The mission is to be able to do the podcast. “

Words of advice and insight

When asked what advice she could give to people with disabilities who might be interested in playing sports, she replied, “I have been involved in sports all my life. But, sometimes it was difficult because of my disability. Some people have been excluded. me from different sports. But, Special Olympics is a place where everyone is included. Thanks to Special Olympics, I learned to play so many new sports like golf, bocce, and volleyball. I love that Special Olympics accepts people of all ages and has programs for young athletes, unified programs for high school and adults, and people of all abilities are included. “

Novie also has a message for the public regarding people with disabilities. She said: “I would like to tell people that even when others have an intellectual or physical disability, they can be successful and should not be excluded.

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