Seasons Change but Special Olympics Remains a Constant for John Cronin

The leaves have changed colors, the air has grown cooler and we’ve set our clocks back, yet despite the change of seasons, the Special Olympics remains a constant for John Cronin. Yes, the sports change with the season, but the commitment remains the same. 

“I love the Special Olympics,” said John Cronin, the co-founder of John’s Crazy Socks. “I’ve been competing in the Special Olympics for twenty-two years. And I am on teams all year round.”

John enjoyed his last Special Olympic soccer practice and game on Saturday. Yet even as soccer ended for the year, John attended his first basketball practice and games on Thursday night. And Sunday morning found John down at the beach for his first snowshoe practice of the season. 

A collage of John at Snowshoe practice

Snowshoe practice has become a family affair as John’s father, Mark X. Cronin, has assumed the reign as the snowshoe coach. “Snowshoe is my favorite sport,” said John. “And now I love it even more because my father is the coach.” 

The Special Olympic Snowshoe Team

Soccer practice on Saturday morning gave John a last chance to run around the green fields and see his teammates until practice starts up again in the spring. He first joined the soccer team at age five when it seemed the ball was bigger than him. Playing with many of the same teammates for more than two decades, the team has evolved to make sophisticated passes and play hard-nosed defense. John even scored a goal on Saturday which filled him with joy. 

Why Special Olympics Matters to John 

“I love Special Olympics, I love everything about it,” says John. “I get to be with my teammates, which is always fun. I love the exercise and learning the sport. I love the games and the races. I love the way I learn things like sportsmanship, how to be coached and how to play be a good teammate. Special Olympics taught me that it is okay to fall down or to lose as long as you get right back up and try again.” 

“Special Olympics helped me be a better student when I went to school and they help me in my business, John’s Crazy Socks.” 

John with special Olympic medals

Coaching Special Olympics 

“We need to remember that Special Olympics is about training and competition,” said Mark X. Cronin, John’s father and partner in John’s Crazy Socks and Snowshoe Coach. “These are athletes who work hard to improve their performance. They understand that the real competition is with ourselves as each practice, each competition they strive to do a little better than the day before.” 

Mark has coached junior high and high school teams as a young man and youth sports teams for many years. “I love coaching in the Special Olympics. These athletes work so hard, have so much fun and understand the ideals of teamwork and sportsmanship more than most.” 

John and his Dad Mark X. Cronin

John’s Crazy Socks and the Special Olympics 

Given his love for the Special Olympics and how much the program has given him, John wanted to make sure to show his appreciation by giving back. Thus, raising money for the Special Olympics is an essential part of John’s Crazy Socks’ mission. 

From the first day they opened John’s Crazy Socks in December 2016, John and his partner and father Mark have made giving back to the Special Olympics an important part of the John’s Crazy Socks experience. Our customers know that when they buy from us, they support the Special Olympics

Our Giving Back Program is an essential way that we express our gratitude and do for others. Giving Back is baked into everything we do. Supporting the Special Olympics is especially important to us. John has donated over $135,000 to Special Olympics New York, more than any other Special Olympic athlete. 

“I love the Special Olympics,” said John. 

We start by donating 5 percent of our earnings to the Special Olympics. John’s Crazy Socks donates 5 percent from the sale of our Sock of the Month Club to the Special Olympics. And we donate 10 percent from the sale of our Polar Plunge Socks and Shark Socks to the Special Olympics. John designed Shark Socks in honor of his basketball and track team, the Commack Sharks.

About John’s Crazy Socks 

John’s Crazy Socks was inspired by John Lee Cronin, a young man with Down syndrome, and his love of colorful and fun socks—what he calls his “crazy socks.” He and his father, Mark X. Cronin, started the company as a social enterprise with a mission of Spreading Happiness™. With more than 4,000 socks, John’s Crazy Socks is now the world’s largest sock store. More than half their employees have a differing ability, and their Giving Back program has raised over $650,000 for charity partners like the Special Olympics, the National Down Syndrome Society, and the Autism Society of America. Most of all, we are Spreading Happiness™. 

For more information about John’s Crazy Socks, visit our webpage, Facebook page, Instagram account, TikTok or YouTube channel. You can also contact us at 631-760-5625 or via email at