Joseph “JoJo” Woodland brought the GOLD back home to DC!

After competing daily for two weeks in qualifying races for the 200m, 400m, and 4x400m races at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Berlin, Germany, JoJo Woodland took the start line in the early morning hours on June 25th, 2023, to race the 400m final. After placing 5th and 6th in quarter- and semi-final races, JoJo had seen the competition, and knew he needed to give it his all in his final race. He did.

JoJo crossed the line at 1:10.40, placing first with a 3-second lead over Special Olympics Bharat (India).

JoJo said, “I had to share some tears of joy at the final line. It was so emotional for me. I just can’t wait to be back to celebrate with you all, my DC family.”

A 22-year old Special Olympics athlete from Ward 7, JoJo has been competing in Special Olympics sports for over 10 years through DC Public School programs into adulthood. JoJo was selected from over 500,000 athletes across the United States to represent Special Olympics USA as a Track & Field athlete because of his qualifying times at the local DC games and 2022 USA Games in Orlando, Florida. JoJo’s selection also factored in his commitment, positive attitude, and dedication to Special Olympics training throughout the years.

JoJo competed on the Special Olympics USA Team with 132 other athletes and 38 coaches from the USA at the World Games, with the 2023 World Games bringing together overall 7,000 athletes from 190 countries. He is no stranger to representing DC, as he recently traveled to Orlando to compete in the 2022 USA Summer Games, taking home a bronze medal in track and field.

Consider donating to support future Special Olympics DC athletes World Games journeys here:!/donation/checkout.