Vanessa Robles of Phoenix, Arizona, has been a proud Special Olympics athlete for 32 years. She has trained and competed in basketball, bowling, softball and volleyball. In the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023, she will represent Special Olympics USA in basketball. Of her many accomplishments as an athlete, she is proudest of her selection as the only female to compete on her gold-winning softball team in the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
In addition to her athletic achievements, Vanessa is active in Athlete Leadership initiatives, which create opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities to develop and demonstrate their abilities in leadership roles. An avid athlete leader, she refers to her Special Olympics community as “one big family.”