Coronavirus: Florida Special Olympians `stand by’ heroes of the pandemic

Staff Writer
Walton Sun
Walton Sun

The Special Olympics athletes across Florida are spreading some positivity during the COVID-19 pandemic by giving a special shout-out to health care workers, doctors, nurses and first responders.

The athletes recorded videos of themselves singing Ben E. King’s classic “Stand By Me” as a thank you to these unsung heroes for their continued service during this crisis.

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Many of the athletes are dressed in their Special Olympics Florida shirts and one — Caleb — wearing a Jacksonville Jaguars Leonard Fournette jersey. The tribute also features dancing from actor Zack Gottsagen, who played in the film “Peanut Butter Falcon.”

Stephen, also known as Mr. Hollywood, added props in his video with a microphone and a Hollywood background.

Aristide impresses with stunning vocals, Ricky provides some flair and each individual performance combines for a touching tribute.

“You are all our champions,” athlete Nicole resolutely concludes.

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Readers can go to for the link to the video or find it on YouTube under the title, “Special Olympics Florida - Stand By Me.”

Special Olympics Florida is a nonprofit organization that serves people with intellectual disabilities by providing them with year-round sports training and competition for Olympic-style sports. For more information about the nonprofit, visit its website at