The Special Olympics global movement announced two new ambassadors, and they also happen to be the first MLB players to be considered as such. One is a member of the New York Yankees, shortstop Gleyber Torres, and the other one is fellow Venezuelan Willson Contreras, who plays for the Chicago Cubs.
Both baseball stars are bilingual and thus in perfect position to build bridges of inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities in the Americas.
â€œSpecial Olympics is proud to have Gleyber Torres and Willson Contreras join our movement as Global Ambassadors,â€ said Special Olympics chief executive officer Mary Davis, per MLB.com. â€œTheir passion and perspective amplify the voice of the Unified Generation and show the world how the power of sport can create an inclusive world.â€
â€œGleyber and Willsonâ€™s dedication to their sport translates to their endeavors both on and off the field,â€ said Special Olympics North America president Tony Wyllie. â€œWe look forward to partnering with them to promote the inclusion movement in North America, Latin America and around the world.â€
â€œGleyber Torres and Willson Contreras deepen the bench of Special Olympics Global Ambassadors who can truly transcend borders,â€ said Special Olympics Latin America president Claudia Echeverry. â€œTheir recognition and reputations throughout the Americas are unmatched and having these powerhouses of baseball on our team will connect our global movement across languages, across continents and across real and perceived barriers.â€
The Yankees’ shortstop involvement with the community
The Yankees’ star, therefore, earns a new commitment with the community, but his leadership and charisma almost guarantee that he will fulfill his new role to perfection.
Torres and Contreras will be tasked with leveraging their networks with the intention of supporting and promoting the movement’s mission around the world, but with an emphasis in the Americas and in Venezuela.
Torres, who is one of the New York Yankees’ brightest stars on and off the field, will partner with Special Olympics New York, especially through opportunities involving baseball.
â€œI couldnâ€™t imagine a greater honor than being welcomed into the Special Olympics family as a Global Ambassador,â€ said Torres. â€œI am excited to hit the ground running and lend my platform to Special Olympics athletes to spread inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities in New York, Florida, Latin America and beyond.â€
Some of the most notable Special Olympics Global Ambassadors have been NFL stars Joe Haden and Jamaal Charles, NBA representatives Andre Drummond, Damian Lillard and Ricky Rubio, WNBAâ€™s Elena Delle Donne, former NBA star Dikembe Mutombo, retired soccer player Didier Drogba and others.