Authorities in Florida are actively investigating the strange disappearance of members of the Special Olympics delegation from Haiti after they checked into their hotel rooms on Monday in preparation for the 2022 Special Olympics Games in the Sunshine State and were never seen again.
Disney has been on tap to help make the 2022 Special Olympics Games as magical as possible. Not only will the ESPN Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort serve as one of the venues for this year’s Games, but Disney Live Entertainment had the honor of producing the event’s Opening Ceremony.
But six people who were to be in attendance at the Special Olympics Games this year have mysteriously disappeared. They are delegates from Haiti who checked into their hotel rooms on Monday and then vanished, leaving behind their luggage and other belongings.
The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office has identified six members of the Haitian Special Olympics soccer team who were last seen on Monday around 2:30 p.m. at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. They are Atione Joseph Mithon, 32; Nicholson Fontilus, 20; Peter Mianovich Berlus, 19; Anderson Petit-Frere, 18; Steevenson Jacquet, 24 and Oriol Jean, 18, WFTV in Orlando reported.
According to a statement released by the Special Olympics USA Games on Monday, five of the missing people do not have a disability, while the sixth individual does have an intellectual disability.
“The well-being of these delegates is our foremost concern,” The Special Olympics USA Games said in a statement on the organization’s website. “Local authorities have indicated they have no reason to believe the health and safety of any of the individuals are at risk. To expand the reach and effectiveness of law enforcement’s efforts to locate these individuals, they have been reported as missing persons.”
Disney’s involvement with the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games is part of a two-year effort between Disney Live Entertainment and the Special Olympics games in preparation for this year’s event that looks to be the biggest Special Olympics USA Games ever.
Per the Special Olympics website, Disney’s efforts in the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games are just one part of the 34-year partnership Disney shares with the organization.
The Walt Disney Company and ESPN are proud of their 34-year relationship with Special Olympics, together helping end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. In recent years, Disney and ESPN have continued to deepen their relationship with the Special Olympics movement through donation, program sponsorship, and programming.
In recent years, The Walt Disney Company’s commitment to Special Olympics has included: Support for the Special Olympics’ 50th Anniversary celebration and global inclusion campaign (“The Revolution is Inclusion”), including a year-long “Game Changers” storytelling initiative; Presenting Sponsorship of the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games and the Games Volunteer Program; Disney VoluntEARS engagement at Special Olympics events; ESPN’s Global Presenting Sponsorship of Special Olympics Unified Sports, which joins people with and without intellectual disabilities to practice, train and play together; and ESPN’s role as Official Broadcaster of the 2015, 2017 and 2019 Special Olympics World Games, the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games, and the 50th Anniversary of Special Olympics events in Chicago.
The investigation into what happened to the Haitian delegates is ongoing at this time. Anyone with information about the six delegates and their whereabouts is urged to contact the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office immediately.