Lauren Petrick of Miami, Florida, has been involved with Special Olympics for 13 years, with a focus on athletics, basketball, cheerleading and gymnastics. She will represent Special Olympics USA as an assistant coach in artistic gymnastics. Lauren served as the head gymnastics coach for Special Olympics Florida in two Special Olympics USA Games. Helping to reinstate the gymnastics program in her area, Lauren has led coaches’ trainings at the local level and has directed several local gymnastics competitions. After her introduction to Special Olympics, Lauren went back to school to obtain a master’s degree in psychology with a focus on behavior analysis, which has helped her better facilitate classes. She opened her own athletic facility, LEAP South Florida, which has been providing adaptive athletic programs for the past 10 years. Recently, she started teaching at a special needs school and is enjoying the process of researching and creating lesson plans.
As a parent of a child with developmental delays, Lauren sees how important places, programs and people like herself are to Special Olympics parents. Lauren anticipates the impact that attending the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023 will have on her life and the lives of the many athletes competing.