Peyton Manning is joining Textron Aviation to promote the 2022 Special Olympics Airlift. The well-known American football quarterback has signed on as honorary chair of the event, encouraging aircraft owners to participate in the massive Airlift scheduled to transport thousands of athletes and coaches to the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games next year in Orlando, Florida. The Airlift is a signature community event organised and coordinated by Textron.
“The Special Olympics Airlift is an incredible opportunity for the aviation community to give athletes from across the country a memorable experience while getting to the Games,” says Manning. “Textron's support of the Airlift is a great example of its commitment to making a real difference.”
Since the first Special Olympics Airlift in 1987, nearly 10,000 athletes and coaches have been transported to the Special Olympics World Games and USA Games by aircraft owners across the US. With this eighth Airlift, Textron aims to recruit over 200 aircraft owners to help transport a portion of the more than 4,000 athletes and coaches invited to Orlando, Florida on Saturday 4 June 2022 and then return them to their home states on Sunday 12 June.
Manning's role as honorary chair will help Textron Aviation recruit Cessna Citation, Beechcraft King Air, Beechcraft Premier, Beechjet and Hawker owners and operators to donate the use of their aircraft, pilots and fuel to transport athletes and coaches from all over the US as well as the Caribbean and Puerto Rico to attend the Games in Orlando.
“Special Olympics athletes embody grit, perseverance and greatness, so no one could be better suited to serve as the 2022 honorary chairperson for our Special Olympics Airlift than Peyton Manning,” states Ron Draper, president and CEO, Textron Aviation. “Many dedicated athletes have worked hard to earn their spot at the USA Games in Orlando, and we knew the Airlift would fit perfectly with Peyton's experience both on the field as a legendary athlete, but also off the field as an ambassador, advocate and fundraiser for many worthy causes.”
Travel is the largest expense for Special Olympics programmes sending athletes to the national competition held every four years. The Airlift helps with those costs, while also allowing athletes to travel to the Games hassle-free with their gear and teammates, well-rested to compete at a national level.