In 1976, Beau Doherty was a coach who brought a group of individuals from the Paul A. Dever State School, where he worked, to a Special Olympics competition for the first time. While he was there, he watched an athlete who inspired him so much that he wanted to get more involved with the organization. Special Olympics was a smaller program and only had ten sports back in the 70’s. Now it has 28 sports being played all year round. In 1986, Beau came to Special Olympics Connecticut, he became President and CEO in 1993 and in 1995, the World Games were held in New Haven.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver helped inspire Beau to further develop Special Olympics and help make it what it is today. Special Olympics has grown over the 40 years that Beau has been with the organization by having Unified Sports® in schools and outside of schools and at the State Games and by having a program called Healthy Athletes which checks the health of athletes - whether it’s dental, feet or eye examinations - to make the athletes healthy and strong for competition.
Beau’s favorite memory from his 40 years with Special Olympics is from back in the 1980's when he and Eunice Kennedy Shriver talked about creating Unified Sports®. Unified Sports in high schools around Connecticut have changed because of Beau and the impact that Eunice Kennedy and the CIAC have had over the past 30 years.
Michael Bozzuto's Dream Ride has evolved over the years since Beau has been CEO by adding more exotic cars and over 2,000 motorcycles. It was a much smaller event at the time Beau first started. It was on a smaller property and had less activities to do. Now, Special Olympics athletes from 30 states attend!
Before he leaves SOCT, Beau says he sees more sports being offered and the organization bringing back dances and overnight stays during the Winter Games and Summer Games in the future.
Beau will leave SOCT knowing the impact he has made and how he's transformed Special Olympics to become what it is now and forever. He is a true pioneer and the G.O.A.T. of Special Olympics Connecticut. SOCT WILL MISS YOU. THANK YOU, BEAU, FOR EVERYTHING AND CONGRATULATIONS!