Joelle Packard ’20 participated in the 2017 Winter Special Olympics World Games that took place in Austria in March. She and her dance team, JOY to the World, competed in the Dance category, which was new this year, and won a Silver Medal. The JOY to the World team are all members of Special Olympics Maryland Montgomery County. They danced a routine to the song “Let’s Twist Again” by Chubby Checker.
There were approximately 2,600 athletes from 105 countries competing at the 2017 Winter games. The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with and without intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics was founded in Maryland by Eunice Kennedy Shriver.
Joelle is in the Holy Cross Moreau Options Program and has been involved in Special Olympics for 12 years. In addition to dance, Joelle plays basketball and tennis, and she is a cheerleader. She has earned six medals as a Special Olympics athlete. In 2015, Joelle and fellow Holy Cross classmates Theresa Brogan ’18, Samantha Copeland ’18, and Breanna Vitak ’20 traveled to the Summer Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles, CA to participate with their JOY cheerleading team.
During an all-school assembly on Monday, April 3, Joelle was recognized for her accomplishment by the Holy Cross community. She also spoke about her experience in Special Olympics and at the recent World Games.
Joelle (far right) and the JOY to the World team.
Joelle with her mother Darian, sisters Hathaway and Faith,
and Linda Potter (wife of Tim Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics)