Congratulations to our
2024 Special Olympics Inductee:
Robert’s rich history as a Special Olympics athlete spans decades. He first joined the Sacramento County Chargers as a young man in 1984 and has been a loyal Charger ever since. Throughout the years, Robert has participated in basketball, track and field, swimming, soccer, softball, golf, bowling, bocce and floor hockey and has won over 500 medals. He has qualified for the Summer Games nearly every year for Track and Field or Swimming. He can be found at Special Olympics practices and tournaments helping in any way that he can: often the first to arrive and the last to leave, Robert has been called the “heart and soul of the Chargers.”
Born to immigrant parents just a few months after moving to the United States from Brazil, Robert and his twin brothers, Manuel and Jose, established deep roots in their hometown of Sacramento. He completed high school at Hiram Johnson and began his Special Olympics journey soon after. Robert met a young woman named Dorothy through Special Olympics, and before long, he started a family and had two children: Eric and Christina. Dorothy, Christina, Manuel, and Jose have competed in Special Olympics sports thanks to Robert’s urging; and his son Eric is a certified Special Olympics coach. When he is not playing sports he loves knitting clothing for others, telling stories, and cooking for his family.
Those that know and love Robert have nothing but wonderful things to say about him. His Special Olympics coaches have expressed that he is the embodiment of a true teammate and the true spirit of Special Olympics. He is a leader both on and off the field: in 2014 he was awarded a Resolution for Outstanding Volunteer of Year from the County of Sacramento. His teammates say that Robert is a very talented, strong, competitive, yet a nice guy with good sportsmanship. He’s been described as humble, amazing, funny, and a great role model. Robert is an exceptional person and the ultimate example of what Special Olympics represents.
Click HERE for more photos of past inductees and nominees.