Mary Roberts of Phoenix, Arizona, has been involved with Special Olympics for 35 years, with a focus on coaching Unified basketball in the past seven years. She will represent Special Olympics USA as head coach in basketball. In 2019, Mary coached the Unified basketball team at the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi. As the retired assistant chief of the Phoenix Police Department, Mary served on the executive committee for the Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics Arizona and attended numerous events and fundraising activities to support athletes. For Mary, every encounter with Special Olympics athletes is a positive and uplifting one, bringing her happiness and a sense of self-worth. Her interactions with Special Olympics athletes have helped her to acquire the patience and abilities to take care of her parents, who are living with dementia.
In her 35 years with the Phoenix Police Department, she dedicated much of her career to Special Olympics Arizona. Following her retirement, much of her time is dedicated to caring for her parents. Her father taught her the importance of kindness, work ethic and doing everything for others. Continuing to make him proud, Mary looks forward to seeing the excitement of the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023 through the eyes of Special Olympics USA athletes.