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
My son has mental and physical disabilities and to me he is not stupid or dumb but one of the smartest people I've ever known he is my special blessing from God. God don't make junk
When I am out I look funny, moving awkwardly, and I hear kids say she is "R" and parents telling them what I am. It just brings me down as a person.
My daughter is now 38 years old and while she suffers with a neurological disease and has been in special Ed classes all of her life, she contributes to her community as a loyal friend and is a beautiful joy to us.
Cheri K Simkins
I have a grand daughter who is a high functioning autistic child. You cannot see any sign of this, but I know that the r word is hurtful to her.
I am a Special Olympics athlete from South Carolina. There are many people I know with disabilities. I love em all. They are all family to me. I am here to stop the r word.
We are proud to be involved with the Special Olympics as a partner. This charity will be a huge part of what we were called to do.
My name is Derrick Fahnestock. I am 33 years old. I live in North Myrtle Beach, SC. I am here to end the r word.
"That's so retarded." "He is acting retarded!" When people use these expressions, it's typically meant to indicate that something (or someone) was stupid, or maybe just ridiculous. But this is a word that has serious repercussions for the millions of people who have developmental disabilities. It's hurtful. Because "retarded" doesn't mean "stupid."
I worked with children with austism for over 20 years. They have taught me patience and compassion I never knew I had. We all are born with some sort of tools.e People who are challenged have a difficult time showing us what their tools may be. We have to step back and look for what each person is bringing into the world.
When I was younger I never new how harsh the r-word was until I turned 20 and my mom had a baby. He has Down syndrome and he is the smartest baby I ever met.
I have a 30 year old cousin that has severe mental handicaps. When he was in the womb, half of brain didn't form correctly.
Eric Thomas Edwards
I have non-blood brothers and sisters with special needs who have raised me into the man that I am today through camping, fishing, and just being together. My story aint nothin special... I just support my family.
My name is Derrick Fahnestock. I have been a member of Horry County Special Olympics since 2010. I made everlasting friends.
I had a hard time learning things and talking to people, and kids make fun of me and one even called me the r-word and it really hurt my feelings. Please ban this word.
My brother has Downs and is the most amazing kid. When people use the r word, I feel like they are making fun of my brother which cuts me deep.
As a fourth grade teacher last year, I worked from the very first day of school to teach my students about love and acceptance of all individuals. I started by telling them about my own brother who has Down syndrome.
My name is Derrick Fahnestock. I have been disabled all my life. I'm just a slow learner and have been in special ed all my life.
Last year, I was in 6th grade. There was an announcement at our school about a Special Olympics Fan Club meeting. I thought that it would be a lot of fun.
I learned to swim through the Clover Special Olympics program and competed in the Special Olympics Aquatics program. Thanks to Special Olympics, I now have a paying job as a life guard at the Rock Hill Aquatics Center. I now life guard during Special Olympic swim meets!