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Special Olympics athletes, leaders, and family members converged on Capitol Hill for Special Olympics’ 15th annual “Capitol Hill Day” on February 15, 2017.  Throughout the day, Special Olympics athletes from across the nation held more than 250  face-to-face meetings with their Congressional representatives to advocate for continued federal support for critical health and education services provided by Special Olympics. These services transcend the playing field and transform the lives of athletes and families, bringing inclusion and greater acceptance of all abilities to classrooms across the country and providing essential health care that is otherwise often unavailable due to the lack of trained health care providers and facilities. Pictured above: Special Olympics PA athlete Chloe Phillips with Rep. Tim Murphy, U.S. Congressman representing Pennsylvania's 18th District.

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Pictured above: Special Olympics PA athlete Chloe Phillips with Rep. Lloyd Smucker, member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Pennsylvania's 16th congressional district.

Special Olympics Pennsylvania President & CEO Matt Aaron, Lancaster County athlete and Global Messenger Chloe Phillips and her mother Anne Phillips helped to educate lawmakers and their staffs about the significant consequences that arise from the stigma and stereotypes that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities face and how that impacts their lives in the areas of sports, health care, education, and employment. The goal was to effectively convey the high-impact and cost-effectiveness of Special Olympics’ evidence-based programming that addresses these issues, and to secure continued support from legislators.

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Pictured above: Special Olympics PA athlete Chloe Phillips with Rep. Glenn Thompson, Congressman for Pennsylvania's 5th Congressional District.

About Lancaster County Athlete and Global Messenger – Chloe Phillips

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Chloe Phillips’ smile greets everyone with warmth. She is a young lady that is determined to spread the word of acceptance and understanding of those with intellectual disabilities. Throughout her high school years, she whole heartedly participated in marching band, musical productions, choir, the varsity track and swim teams. Chloe began swimming at age three, and it remains her main passion as a multi-sport athlete in Special Olympics Pennsylvania.

Chloe started swimming for the Lancaster County Special Olympics Pennsylvania team in 2009. Her most memorable moment to date with Special Olympics is winning her first gold medal at the State level. Her participation in Special Olympics gave her confidence to join her high school team and was named Rookie of the Year. Throughout her school years, Chloe has given talks about having Down Syndrome, and what it is like to in her words, “reach for the stars” despite a label of a disability. She was voted homecoming queen in 2015 and was a state finalist in America’s Homecoming Queen pageant.

Since graduation from high school, she has been in a work program at a local Veterans Hospital. Chloe enjoys her work, and trains six days a week in the pool, with the dream of someday going beyond the State Games and competing in the National or World Games. Despite a busy work and training schedule, Chloe acts as a Global Messenger for Special Olympics. She particularly loves going to schools to spread the word of Unified Sports and Young Athletes programs within Special Olympics and recruiting new athletes and volunteers.

Becoming a Global Messenger has given Chloe the opportunity to share her joy of being a competitor, and the friendships made by being an athlete. She would like to become a Health and Fitness Coordinator and Athlete Representative during Athlete Leadership University. In the meantime, she will continue to spread the word that the stars are within reach for anyone that works and trains hard. Special Olympics has given Chloe the opportunity to spread understanding and acceptance of people with intellectual disabilities.

Chloe lives with her parents and is extremely proud of her sister who is a United States Marine Musician. Besides swimming, Chloe competes in Bocce, Powerlifting, and in Volleyball with Special Olympics Pennsylvania.