A Loss in our Special Olympics Family

November 27, 2012 | 0 Comments

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Emily Matlack-Hodges - February 9, 1981-November 16, 2012

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the unexpected passing of Special Olympics Athlete, Emily Matlack-Hodges.  Emily joined Special Olympics in 1998 on the advice of her sister Holley, also a Special Olympics athlete.



Emily truly took "year-round sports" to heart and participated in every sport offered.  She was an excellent athlete, a good sport and a team player. One of the highlights of her career was participating in the 2001 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Anchorage, Alaska.   The only cross-country skier representing Northern California, Emily won a gold medal and two silver medals in fierce competition against women from around the world. 

On October 1, 2011, Emily married the love of her life, fellow Special Olympics athlete Douglass Hodges.  They met 12 years ago at the Special Olympics Northern California Summer Games when they were held in Stockton.  They were inseparable and everyone who saw them together knew they loved each other deeply.  

Emily was not only an amazing athlete but an amazing global messenger as well.  She was one of our 10 athletes who emceed the entire 2003 International Law Enforcement Torch Run Conference held in San Francisco.  It was the first time athletes were utilized in such a manner in the  history of the International Conference and it continues to be the model to this day.  She often served as an emcee for Summer Games, co-anchored the Winterfest Awards dinner and was nominated and selected as one of Sgt. Shriver’s World Global Ambassadors for a two year term.  

Our heart goes out to Douglass and the Matlack and Hodges families.