She describes herself as “a bagger by day, an actor by night.” What Katie Rouille, 36, does not mention is that she is also an advocate and decorated athlete of Special Olympics Georgia. Joining Special Olympics Georgia at the age of 12, Katie has gained the confidence and self-esteem to not only become a champion in Special Olympics Georgia, but also a champion in life.
The passion that Katie has for aquatics, volleyball and rhythmic gymnastics, the sense of comfort that she shares with fellow athletes, and the support she receives ultimately have allowed her to take her athleticism to achieve what others only dream. Katie competed in the Special Olympics World Games in 1999, where she won one silver medal and two gold medals in aquatics. She returned in 2003, when she served as a member of the United States Special Olympics Volleyball team. She also excelled in her service and volunteerism with Special Olympics Georgia, holding positions on the Special Olympics Georgia Board of Directors, the Opening Ceremony Committee, the State Games Evaluation Team, the Athlete Input Council, and currently serves as the Law Enforcement Torch Run Athlete Ambassador and Global Messenger.
Off the field, Katie continues to build her legacy as a champion. In 2003, Katie graduated from local high school, Tucker High School, and she shortly after started her career with Publix Supermarkets, where she has been a valuable employee for the past 12 years. She has also been honored as the Keynote Speaker for the Bregman Educational Conference for individuals with intellectual disabilities. In additional, Katie has become a blooming actress, embarking on an enduring journey within her favorite hobby. Since 2000, Katie has performed in several lead roles and countless productions at Jerry’s Habima Theater. Her theatrical feats have continued to the Synchronicity Theatre as the only actress with an intellectual disability to be cast in two productions. While Katie’s athletic achievements, Publix Supermarkets career, and theater roles still prosper, she gives back to Special Olympics Georgia as an administrative and donor relations volunteer.
Katie is one of the many athletes who, because of the support from Special Olympics Georgia fans, coaches, and teammates across the community, has been able to find and unleash her inner champion. The comfort she feels to be herself in Special Olympics Georgia has given her the courage and self-empowerment to continue to reach new heights and exceed any expectation in life.
“I have learned and I now know that I can do whatever I set my mind to doing.”