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.
A gift of $35 can help train an athlete for an entire season. Help us reach one more person.
Provide dependable funding for our year-round programs.
Celebrate a friend or pay tribute in memory of a loved one with a donation to Special Olympics in their name.
Your fundraising campaign will help us transform more lives through the joy of sports.
Donate with confidence on our secure server.
Newsletter: Sign up and get inspiring stories!
Make a Difference
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.
Thanks to my daughter's dear friend Madison Eouse for directing me to this website. I took the pledge, and feel proud to share the compassion with such amazing people.
The Gulf Breeze Girls Lacrosse team is trying to Spread the word about ending the R word! At the local high school lacrosse game this week they are hosting the Best Buddies Night.
My father was disabled and had mental handicaps, therefore he felt that he wasn't as "smart" or "good enough" because of how poorly he had been treated for being "slow". Even though I wasn't the one being called it, hearing my dad use that word to describe himself made me so unbelievably sad.
Rachel caylor rachel
I am Rachel I am 27 yrs old and I have a disability and I know I am just as Normal as anyone else on this earth the Lord made us for a reason and I have been made fun of picked on my whole life but I know that I am normal.
With a sister with Down syndrome, every time I hear the R word it crushes me inside. It makes it hard to function. My sister means the world to me and I can't stand to hear that word.
My sister has Down syndrome and she means the world to me. She means more than the world to me. Without her there would be no world to me. I'm tired of the word. I hate it.
I have written a book about my son Doug, a young man who has Down syndrome. Doug has been an active participant in Special Olympics for thirty years, winning many ribbons and medals. He has traveled to Japan, China, Hong Kong, Hawaii, Alaska and most of the other states in the USA.
Rachel Edmister Tucker
I have a 13 year old Daughter with Down syndrome. I tell my friends please don't say the R word. When I was going up yes I did say it , but know I can't stand when people say the R word.
Everyone is a person, we are all equal. Just because someone might be different doesn't mean we should use derogatory terms.
I took our son 7 yr old son bowling with some friends and The Special Olympics were also bowling. Such joy to see their real happiness and confidence. They had such fun and we did too! True kids at heart !
I cringe at the R word and I call people on it when they say it. They are simply uneducated. It's just like other horrible words in our language that hurt.
Growing up I have always said things like "that's (r word)" never thinking of how harmful it can be to hear that word to others.
Trouble arose when Kraig and Jennipher Beahn received a letter from Cigna containing the words "mental retardation", concerning their daughter, Kennedi.
Veronica M Pappas
The r-word for me it hurts my feelings I also have a learning disability.
My sister Lisa is the reason I pledge the R word. Lisa has Down's. She didn't ask for this but I'm glad that the Lord saw fit to make her special.
The Get Fit for Sport Team Florida challenge is underway, but there's still time to register.
What follows is my open letter to the Latin Bachelor to explain to him that the R word is unacceptable in any country and every culture around the world, and there is no excuse for what he has publicly said.
Parenting a daughter born with Down syndrome has been a journey like none imagined. The experience is much like riding a roller coaster at an amusement park.
I have a mild form of Asperger's/Autism, and I have a cousin that is affected by Autism much worse than I am. I have excelled in so much, and I want to give back to less fortunate people.