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 more than 5.6 million athletes with intellectual disabilities and unified partners 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 involved with our Unified Sports, a quick path to friendship and fun.
Special Olympics has events and competitions happening in places all around the world. View our events.
Get results by sport and team for major Special Olympics competitions.
Explore how Special Olympics is creating a more inclusive, welcoming world for all.
Your gift of $35 will help train an athlete for an entire season. Give today!
Discover the many ways you can support Special Olympics through your estate plans.
Make a donation and send a card in celebration or honor of a loved one.
Your efforts will help transform more lives through the joy of sports. Get started today!
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Make a Difference
The R WORD was never tolerated in our home. Whenever someone we knew or didn't know used that word, we let them know it was NOT ACCEPTABLE.
Special Olympics Staff
Recently I heard my dad say the r-word. It bothers me, because I have a younger sister with Down syndrome.
I started in Special Olympics way back in 2009. I made it all the way to state games but sadly got sick the day before my swim.
I joined Special Olympics this year. I do tennis. It's so much fun. I love my coaches and meet lots of friends.
My first year of Special Olympics was so amazing. It was amazing!
I love my life with Special Olympics. My favorite sports are bowling, horse back riding and gymnastics, too.
This story is about my uncle James Ray. James Ray was born with Down syndrome. The doctors advised my grandparents to have him institutionalized.
I have intellectual disability and it not fair to say those words. I dislike that word. Lots of people used to call me that.
I've been in Special Olympics for 14 years. I enjoyed it so much.
By Gina Warren
She was born with many challenges. But Alicen has accomplished far more than anyone expected her to when she was born.
I have seen so many athlete leaders from different counties at competitions, at the Polar Plunge and at athlete leadership training.
One of our athletes, Joe DePompa, has taken the Coaches' Certification exam and passed!
I became fond of this girl who was a little older than me at that time, she loved softball.
We do not use the "R" word in the home and I correct my youngest sons friends when they use it. The Teaching starts at HOME
My name is Monica hernandez from special Olympics Seminole County and I have been involved in special Olympics Seminole County for almost 20 years the past two years I have the torch run for Seminole County and this year i get to do it again I compete in basketball this year I am competing in volley
Cindy ASD Mom
My name is Allyson I am 11 and I am all for kids with disablity's. They are my favorite people.
I know a girl her name is Skyler, and she has Down syndrome. She is one of those girls who can do everything. She is a great cheerleader and dancer.
I have just moved to Florida from Philadelphia. When I arrived in Florida I had nothing, only a bag with some clothes and my pocketbook. I felt my life stunk. I looked into Special Olympics and I saw their bowling team.
This is my cousin I grew up with.She is amazing and has such a kind spirit. This is why she loves her horses she rides. She is equestrian by birth.
I have loved basketball since I was 8 years old. I have grand mal seizure, ADHD; I’m currently in high school. Growing up was really hard for me because I didn’t have any friends at all, & I would get bullied a lot.
Michelle Stevens, WFTV 9-Family Coordinator
Those were the sage words of wisdom were confided to me by a 40-year-old gentleman with Down syndrome who was a member of my Special Olympics team after witnessing another 8-year-old athlete eat his lunch when not supervised.
My son Michael is 18 years old. Taught him at a very young age. We always knew he loved swimming and was a fish in water. Tried a swim team a few years back, he wouldn't stay on task.
I love how even though you can't really talk well, you already have multiple homes and you're driving!! Driving is already hard enough for most of the world, so I'm really glad that you can show everyone that it's easy for you.
When I was a child I got called the R- Word. It hurted me and as I was growing and going to school, they used to call me the R-word and pulli my hair which it was long. Then they struck me.
I read Jason's story. You're no different from anyone else!! The only thing that makes you different is the fact that you are more mature than them, and have a bigger heart.
Capt Jack Orr
I got involved in Special Olympics Florida thanks to two friends of mine. I am a Special Olympics athlete for Seminole County. I got involved in Special Olympics in the year 2009 and I am still part of Special Olympics Seminole County.
I met this young man at a Valentines dance that John I.'s Student Government put together. While setting up this event, I felt really happy for the fact I made a difference.
As a student of recreational therapy, I traveled to Costa Rica to participate in a study-abroad program. While I never used the r-word directed at a person, I was still using it as a poor adjective choice.
The fact people throw the word around like it's nothing irritates me. People don't realize that there are actually people out there who have disabilities and try so hard to be normal and by calling them the R-word you put them down and make them feel like nothing.
One day while I was in school in the 1980's, I used the R-word... my friend asked me to please not use that word. Her sister has Down's syndrome. She explained how hurtful that word is.