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Special Olympics Champion Inspires Team GB Ahead of Paris 2024

Teenage swimmer Taylor MacKenzie (pictured above) has shared her life-changing experience of winning two Special Olympics World Games Gold medals.


As part of a Coca-Cola campaign to inspire British Olympians competing in Paris this summer, Taylor has urged British athletes to embrace their nerves and enjoy the moment as they pursue their own place on the podium.


The Dundee based 16-year-old, who has autism and intellectual disabilities, was one of the youngest medal winners at last summer’s Special Olympics World Games in Berlin


She is one of several Special Olympics athletes sharing their advice and experiences with Olympic athletes as part of a new campaign by Coca-Cola to inspire success in Paris, as well as raising awareness about the Special Olympics movement and the transformational sports opportunities for its athletes.


“I think it’s the focus that’s important,” said Taylor, reflecting on her experience of securing gold in both the 200m and 400m freestyle races last summer.


“Confidence is key but nervousness is power. It really drives you through that race, or whatever you’re going through.


“The feeling is something you can’t even express. At the end of the day I think the nerves are overruled by the enjoyment and the people you meet along the way. Just try living the moment, try and enjoy it as much as you want. Bring your camera and film everything!”


More than 6,500 athletes with intellectual disabilities and Unified partners from more than 170 nations competed at the Special Olympics in Berlin. Taylor was one of the 82 athletes representing Special Olympics GB.


The Coca‑Cola Company has been a dedicated global founding partner of Special Olympics since 1968 and a proud global sponsor for over 55 years. Last month, the company announced an eight-year extension through 2031.


This summer, Coca-Cola is giving Special Olympics athletes the chance to send messages of inspiration, advice and good luck to those getting ready for the games, before travelling to meet fellow athletes at Paris 2024 and experience the magic of the Olympic Games together.


 “For many years, the Special Olympics movement has been using the power of sport to transform the lives of people with intellectual disabilities, and Coca-Cola has played a key part in that as a founding partner,” said Laura Baxter MBE, Chief Executive of Special Olympics GB.


“We’re very grateful to have such magnificent support for our work, but also for giving this fantastic opportunity to Taylor to be part of this campaign and to help inspire the athletes representing our nation in Paris.”





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