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Teens and college students are the future leaders of Special Olympics.
It's the mission of Special Olympics to show the world the capabilities of people with intellectual disabilities.
We have over 4.5 million athletes of all ages with intellectual disabilities around the world.
Our celebrity supporters are Olympians, professional athletes, social leaders, and movie and music stars.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver was a pioneer in the struggle for the rights of people with intellectual disabilities.
Direction for our movement comes from leaders in government, entertainment, sports and business.
All adults and children with intellectual disabilities can become Special Olympics athletes. Here's how.
Get involved with Special Olympics in your neighborhood. Find the program nearest you.
Get results by sport and team for major Special Olympics competitions.
Explore how Special Olympics is creating a more inclusive, welcoming world for all.
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Make a Difference
Judy L. Marino
She is kind, loyal, loving, empathetic & beautiful both inside & out. She loves to sing, dance & listen to music. She can be so full of joy that she glows & physically bounces.
I myself have a learning disability. I have been called "the r word" many times both to my face and behind my back. I know how hurtful it can be so I do not ever use it!
I used to get called retarded and still do by my mother and I always tell her to not use that word that it's not a nice word.
Marc D Birnbach
My cousin is sarcastic and funny, and unabashedly boy crazy. She has the "St. Francis" touch-the meanest and most persnickity animals will let her hold her and cuddle them. And my cousin also has special needs. But so what?
My story is simple. One day, I angrily shouted "This thing is retarded." at a computer program that was not intuitive. I then realized what I had just said.
I got bullied everyday because of my disability. I hate it when people around me at the r-word "retard" because I get upset by it. TAKE THE PLEDGE TO SPREAD THE WORD TO END THE WORD!!!!!!!
All my friends know how horrible I feel when people use the r-word, I work with special ed kids and want to be a teacher when I'm older.
I plan on going on one of those singing competition shows in the future and tell people in front of the camera to Spread The Word To end the Word.
One day walking home from the doctor's office with my son and daughter there were a couple of young boys playing across the street who proceeded to shout as they saw my son walking kinda funny, "look at the retard". My heart broke.
Rachel Lindsay Marks
I have a learning disability that makes me think differently than others. I always feel that I'm not gonna be as successful as other people.
Richard Dobbs and Didi Dobbs
My daughter Cambria is 5 months old. She was recently diagnosed with Williams Syndrome.
She is the stars and moon of my sky.
A few years ago, my daughter, one of our Little Man's older twin siblings, sat at the dinner table and told me how "I cried at school again today."
I did home daycare for over 37 years and had so many children. Many needed a little extra time and love however we all were the same and all were treated the same.
I am a freshman in college, studying to be a Special Education teacher. Spread the word, just don't say it!
Anne LeMieux - manager Kandoo Band
We're Brendan, Bret, John, Lucas, Robby, and Tori - the Kandoo Band. Growing up, we've all been hurt by the R-word.
My cousin James has down syndrome and there is more to him than just his disability. He is an inspiration to me and to my whole family.
Two boys had been picking on my sister on her bus ride home for being mentally challenged. My sister was facing so much stress from being bullied for being different that her body reacted by having seizures.
WTNH Channel 8 has a story about the recently announced partnership with Disney, ESPN and Special Olympics to promote unified teams that have members both with and without disabilities.
The Walt Disney Company, ESPN and Special Olympics today announced a two-year global initiative that will leverage the power of sports to promote an environment of social inclusion and acceptance, by uniting people with and without intellectual disabilities through the Special Olympics Unified Sports program.
I think this entire world needs to do a better job accepting people. Stories never make me cry, but this one did.
It crushed me and what was worse is my son had no idea they were making fun of him. Ever since then I have a personal promise to tell everyone about the emotional impact that comes with that word.
At work, I've been voicing my dislike for the word. Simply saying "That's not a very nice word" or "I don't like that word." For lack of a better phrase I've been gently made fun of for it.
Special Olympics Team USA