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!
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Make a Difference
Last year I was in line for a roller coaster with my boyfriend and his best friend. As we were about to get on, we saw a boy with Cerebral Palsy getting off the roller coaster. My boyfriend's friend proceeded to laugh at him and call him the "r-word". I was shocked. How could someone be SO insensitive?
Special Olympics Staff
I decided to change my eating habits. I started drinking more water. I also started eating more vegetables and fruits.
I have borderline autism and people at my job treat me very badly! All because I have a disability and I hear some of them use the r-word a lot!
My inspiration is a group of special ed kids that I work with at my Middle school. They are often made fun of on the bus and come home upset. I would like this word to be prevented because it is not a friendly thing to say to people.
I have a younger brother who is on the Autism spectrum. He inspires me to keep on going. Without him I wouldn't be who I am today. Xander, I love you keep on doing you.
my issue is with people using the "R word" to describe something or action that they feel is "asinine" or ridiculous.
Lia heard and said to me what that mean, retard? I was at a loss for words.
Debra L White
I try and explain he means no harm and just wants to make friends. But these adults are too ignorant to explain this to their children
I know many people who have disabilities that range from autism to behavioral issues to anxiety and depression.
I grew up being a little slow in school and because of that I was never treated nice and was called the r-word.
I want people to be treated with respect. So what if you have a disability, you're still smart no matter what.
I was in high school when the use of the word was brought to my attention. It was a moment of embarrassment for me when I used it.
I want to say thank you to everyone that knows that people with obstacles in their lives are just the same as everyone else. And in fact in my eyes they're better.
Far too often, we choose words that dismiss individuals with different abilities, that dismiss their strength, their love, their vision, their endurance—how they survive even as they are knocked down.
People with developemental disabilities have the same feelings, just like you and I.
I work for an agency called Lexington. We are based out of Gloversville, NY. We house and support intellectually disabled people. I love my job, every day there is an adventure.
William P. Murphy
All human life is sacred and has a unique purpose. Let us Respect Life in all its stages, regardless of physical or emotional dependency.
About 20 something years ago my god son was born with a birth defect little slow since that day I hated that word that r word my heart goes out to all of you just saw it on the news you rock Jennifer and to the rest of you I got your back peace and love to all of you and you got my vote
The people that inspired me to stop saying the R-Word was at North Rockland High School in this club named Best Buddies.
At the team tournament in December, Nick looked at me and said, "I'm a winner!" That is a most treasured moment and memory for me!
People use the r-word for the wrong reasons! If they would walk in our shoes and see that we're special in all that we do every day, they would realize not to label people with special needs.It hurts so stop labeling us!!
By Lillian Chaparro
People from this very day do not realize that using the r-word is very hurtful to us.
I got a second place here in Rochester, NY at the bowling tournament and I thought that was great.
Special Olympics is excited to announce our partnership with the Jr. NBA. The Jr. NBA presented by Under Armour is the league’s youth basketball participation program that teaches the fundamentals and values of the game at the grassroots level to help grow and improve the youth basketball experience for all.
Thrown to the Ground
I have a deformed face, as people say. I was not born like that, but my face became like that when I was 11. I am now 14. I also have a leg disorder. Bullies pick me up, throw me to the ground, take my money.
Neal J. Johnson
Play Unified, a 2-year-old filly owned by Bona Venture Stables won her first start ever going wire to wire in the sixth race this past Sunday at the famed Saratoga Race Course. There's a great horse-racing back story:
I have autism. I repeat myself a lot and I don't look at people when I'm upset and not talk to them. I get upset when people use the r-word.
Carol H. Jewell
My sister-in-law, Heidi, has Down Syndrome. And she also has a fabulous, quick, sense of humor, can "run" the tv themesongs category in "Jeopardy," and loves the Red Sox and the New England Patriots. I love her very much.
I want to thank everyone who taking the pledge and supporting this movement. Remember: Be the difference that makes the difference.
I have no patience with the ignorant people. I raised my children to love my nephew and be patient with him and people like him. If only everyone felt that way.
The mother of Cameron and Connor
Today I took the boys to the park, and on my way I saw a bunch of kids, possibly 100. They were talking loudly, laughing, and walking to the park. As Connor pushed Cameron's wheelchair, I walked by them.
When he was born the doctor told my grandmother that they should not see the baby. It would be better for her to just think of him as if he had died. My great grandmother pushed the doctor on his butt and told him he better get us that baby right NOW!!
Being secretly autistic and being called the r word is extremely hard and scaring. But having someone to support you and have your back through it can help so much.
I work at an ARC home and started a small basketball game for a few of the houses before I found out about special olympics in our area. I got a few of the guys from my house interested and one of the women just went to watch.
As an athlete of Special Olympics I've learned that moms everywhere are a blessing to all of us. They're role models and make sacrifices for us every day.
I am 13 years old and in 1st grade, I had a kid in my class with Down syndrome and ever since I have been volunteering in the special education classes at my school...the r-word is horrible and to me it is considered a curse word
I am getting ready for the regional tournament on Saturday for swimming, and I know if I put my mind to it, I can do what I want to do. I compete in the water here in Rochester, NY, and the swimming tournament is this Saturday. It's also where I live, OK.
I grew up with my uncle who had Down syndrome & my brother Jon who developed cerebral palsy shortly after birth. This was the 1960's, so Jon ended up in an institution at age 4.
I remember I use to be a peer mediator who helps children and your classmates who are sad, crying or not being their usual. So one day this girl was crying and she said she was getting bullied.
Okay, this isn't a story. But if you are having a hard day or if someone you know is, read this.
Look, lots of people don't understand why the r word is wrong, and say that America is a free country and blah blah blah. I understand what they are saying. I get that.