Larry's Story

I thought I would tell you all a bit about Larry so you know exactly where your support is going.  A truly pure soul, kind spirit, dedicated athlete, and inspirational man.

Larry was born in March 1977 in St.Albert, Alberta, Canada. Our parents, Don and Terry Green were excited and so happy to welcome their first-born into the world. As time went on they noticed that something was different about Larry. He was under the umbrella of "developmentally delayed" and even thought to be a high-functioning schizophrenic. This diagnosis changed drastically as Larry grew up and we learnt more about him but the labels never changed the warm-hearted person we have always unconditionally loved.  

Larry was a joyful child full of humour (he loves nick-names), questions, and a quiet wit that is almost always right on the money. Our parents always made sure Larry had equal opportunities in all things and didn't let his disability be a reason not to get the most out of life. Our mom has always been a super advocate for Larry and constantly fights to make sure that he reaps every privilege life has to offer.  He went through the St.Albert school system and, with the dedication and support of his teachers, he experienced a full and rewarding school life. He graduated from the GOALS program at Bellerose Composite High School in 1996 and when it was his turn to receive his diploma among the 400+ other grads the applause he received was deafening! After graduation Larry even spent some time at Fairview College learning various life-skills and lessons.  

He was always involved in sports like soccer, softball and BMX. Our family is very outdoorsy and so Larry was camping, hunting, fishing, and quadding from a very young age. We have always been very close to our nurturing and supportive parents and our dad always taught us that "The amount of time you spend with your kids (preferably outside) is proportional to the great people they will become.". They never let us be idle, complacent, or spoiled, unless it was with their time, love, and copious amounts of dirt!  One of our families favourite pastimes was downhill skiing. I cant remember a year that went by as kids where we didn't hit the slopes. Our favourite hill was Sunshine Village near Banff where we would cut up the slopes and try to keep up with our kamikaze dad! 

Despite all of his activities Larry often had trouble fitting in to "regular" organized sports. Mentally he needed to be with younger kids but physically he was the size of the much older ones. Larry is over 6 feet 4 inches tall and a man of stature! Our Gentle Giant. When Larry discovered Special Olympics it changed his life. He started in high school with floor hockey and learnt about team work, respect, and sportsmanship. No matter what the topic of conversation was Larry had a way to relate it to floor hockey and his team. He loved it with the passion of a pro! Unfortunately Larry eventually had to retire from floor hockey after a few accidents that damaged his knees, not surprising for such a big guy.

As a young adult Larry had various jobs through programs that support people with mental disabilities from Gregg Distributors, Superstore, Arby's, McDonald's, and currently Fabricland. He also moved out on his own and over the years has lived independently in various group homes with a room-mate and staff to offer support. Larry has always been very independent and rides the bus on his own just about everywhere. He even has routes, schedules, and bus driver's names memorized. Larry has a knack for memorizing things like bus routes, maps, yearbooks, and every person he has ever met since he was a toddler.  Seriously.  When Larry would tell dad that he missed a turn on our long road trips to Ontario or BC dad ALWAYS listened.  He has a knack for on lyrics too, as long as they are METAL, loud and awesome! Our own personal Rockin Rainman!

Larry loves kids, especially his nieces and nephews

About 8 years ago Larry started to have some problems and we all worried as he became more anti-social and lethargic. His paranoia and "bad days" were more frequent and we all became very worried about him. It took this low point to finally figure out that his life-long diagnosis and medication were not quite right. They figured out that he has temporal-lobe epilepsy and since then his quality of life has dramatically improved. A big thank you to the Alberta Hospital, Alberta Mental Health Services, and all of the doctors, nurses, psychologists and care givers who have made Larry's life so rich and as "normal" as possible. They truly saved his life.

Within a few years Larry got back on track and he joined the Edmonton Special Olympics Alpine Ski Team. Once again Special Olympics was there to give him purpose and direction and something he was good at.  No, awesome at!!  He goes to practices weekly at Snow Valley in the winter and his coaches and team-mates have enriched his life so much. Our dad became more involved with Larry's sport when he had to retire due to some health problems in 2007.  He started to take Larry to his practices and skiing in Jasper more often and never missed a chance to brag about his son, the ski daemon!  In In February 2011 Larry participated in the Special Olympics Alberta Winter Games and burned down the slopes at Rabbit Hill. He won a silver and two gold medals in his events! GO LARRY!! 

Sadly that was one of the last days that we saw our dad, Donald James Green, as he suddenly passed away a few weeks later of a heart attack. It deflated our family's spirit and took a lot out of all of us. A vital piece of our lives was suddenly gone.   Larry was by far the most accepting out of all of us and found peace and comfort in his new guardian angel.  During our time of weakness and need Larry became the one to support us and give us hope and comfort.

Despite our loss Larry continued to work hard and train even harder as he had been asked to join Team Alberta and participate in the 2012 Canada Special Olympics Winter Games that were being hosted by our home town, St.Albert. WOW!  In preparation he gave many speeches to local schools and even to Team Alberta at the start of the games.

To give you some perspective on how much Larry's life has changed because of Special Olympics we have to look back a few years when we discovered that Larry also had diabetes. Since he started training with Special Olympics he takes his diabetes, diet, and exercise regime very seriously. He began working out at the YMCA (for free!!), eating better, and training even harder. Now fit and trim in January 2012 Larry tore up the slopes and brought home one bronze and TWO GOLD medals at the  S.O. Canada Winter Games!! OLE!!!!!! OLE! OLE! OLE! He was featured on the local news and TSN and is now a bit of a local celebrity.  (Click on all the above links to see videos!)
Pure joy during his gold medal moment.  "This one's for you dad!"
Soon after Larry was nominated by over a dozen people to participate in Rick Hansen's Man in Motion 25th Anniversary Tour! He got to carry Rick's medal, make a speech to the crowd, be on CTV Edmonton, and he even wore the toque that Rick Hansen signed when Larry ran with him as a little boy!  Like I said, a local celebrity!

A few weeks later we received the news that Larry would be on TEAM CANADA and participate in the Special Olympics World Winter Games in PyeongChang, Korea in January 2013! This is a dream come true!! I can not even tell you how much this means to Larry.  His life is simple, his joys are easy, but his passion and love of sport is EPIC!!  THIS is his life's goal, dream, and biggest accomplishment!

After the celebrations died down Larry and his team of coaches have been dedicated to his training. He works out 3-5 days a week, participates in dry-land training, and is excited to get started on his downhill training as soon as the snow starts to fall. Words can not express the pride and admiration we all feel when we see Larry and how much he has accomplished regardless of any limitations or disabilities. He always has such a positive attitude and his optimism and joy is infectious.  He is truly my hero and inspiration.

With this new found notoriety Larry has participated in various events in support of Special Olympics and his own dreams. He is so well spoken and charming that it is a pleasure to hear what he has to say. The last event was "Free the Fuzz" in support of the Law Enforcement Torch Run, one of the major contributors to Special Olympics. Please see our "In the news" section for more videos.  Inspirational!

Larry came to my school (Ecole Coloniale Estates School in Beaumont) on January 11th and spoke to the entire assembly about setting goals and following your dreams with a lot of hard work and dedication.  I was bursting with pride and love for my brother and so happy to be able to share this piece of my life with my co-workers and students.  He came and talked to my students and we also had the entire school sign a giant card to wish him luck.  Larry will even be in The Beaumont News this Friday!  

Larry will also be on CTV on January 22nd on the morning show with his buddy Robby Williams.

Now Larry is working hard to follow his dreams and go for the gold in Korea.  It has taken a lot of hard work, both from him, and all of his supporters.  On his behalf we would like to thank his coaches, Special Olympic staff and volunteers, his group-home staff, co-workers at Fabricland, the YMCA, his doctors/healthcare support, his adorable girlfriend, Crystal, his amazing friends, and our incredible family that has created a foundation of love and strength that has guided Larry throughout his entire life.  

 Larry often says how our dad is watching over him, guiding him, and that he works even harder to make him proud. I know that he is smiling down on us and cheering Larry on.  We all wish he was here to share in Larry's accomplishments but I have now realized that all those lessons and hours spent together has placed a piece of our dad in all of our hearts and through all of us he is there for Larry.  

We have had so many people support Larry and my mom as she voyages to Korea to cheer him on.  We are completely blown away by the generosity of others.  Through the online auction and private donations of many of our "angels" mom will be able to travel to Korea to be there for Larry in his new ski equipment !  "Thank you" just does not feel big enough.  

If you would like to give some moral support to Larry please post a message on his Team Canada website.

I also made this video to get Larry PUMPED!  Enjoy.

Larry is looking forward to going to Korea and focused on his training.  I wish him all the best and want him to know that the love and support of his family, community, and of Canada will be all around him on that mountain. 

I am beyond grateful for everyone who has supported us over these years, during the hard times and loss, the celebrations and triumphs.  To everyone who has given so generously I'm not sure you will ever truly know just how much it means to us and what a relief it is that we can be there for Larry.   

Thank you.


  1. Wow Amanda! What a very well written piece on Larry! So very courageous and genuine! Larry is definitely an inspiration to all and I feel privileged to be a part of your guys lives! Can't wait to cheer him on and see him give it his all! GO LARRY GO!

    1. Paul you are so kind and generous with your comments and your support. Thank you so much for everything.