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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.
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Make a Difference
Our athletes with intellectual disabilities are the reason for the existence of Special Olympics. In their own words, they tell the story of a movement that is growing worldwide.
Every day people call me the R-Word just because I have Asperger's syndrome and it makes me feel like I do not belong in this world.
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.
I was at the Boys and Girls Club and it was my first day, we were going around to the building and talking to the kids about not using hurtful words like the r-word.
Rose Marie Garrett
Why would anyone use the R word?
I pledge to end the r word because i have developmental disabilities and its a word that just shouldnt be used to describe someone who has dd and the word needs to end
Stephen F. Coston
On a Saturday in March at Hudson Lanes in Jersey City, two Special Olympics bowlers from NJ competed dramatically, as if both were in the Professional Bowlers Tour.
Growing up in the 70's through the 80's was a challenge. I was bullied a lot. I was called stupid and retard among many many other names. it made me cry a lot.
My name is Rachel and I have Down syndrome and my boyfriend to and his name is Alex he also has Down syndrome too. using the R word affects all people in this country and I want it to stop.
Jeremy Simpson USA Games 2014
I've been in Special Olympics all my life and I've been in Bowling for 16 years and in 2014, I made it to the USA Games and met a lot of new friends.
this word has made me feel small and insignificant throughout our lives. For instance, here are some things that have happened to me.
Last year mean bullies called me the R-word because I was overweight and it made me feel bad about myself. I'm glad that people are trying to stop the use of this word.
I'm Amy. I was bullied in high school cause I had special needs. The r-word, it hurts.
When I was in high school and in elementary school I was called the R word a lot just because I am different then everyone else .. That's not okay, I choose to pledge not to use that word.. I encourage others not to use it as well.
One day I got called the R-Word it really hurt so I started to ask people how to stop it and they helped.
I would stand up for my friends who were called the r-word by a person and i would tell the person to quit doing it for good and i want to get rid of the r-word for good and forever
I do not have a disability but my friend does, he has a physical disability. His leg is not what it is suppose to be, and he loves baseball.
Robyn Ann Dorton
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.
I'm dyslexic. Growing up, my dad used that word whenever I misspelled a word, reversed numbers, made any kind of mistake. He used it as a weapon, to make me think I'm worthless. I still kind of believe it.
This past summer, I represented Tuolumne County, Northern California, & the United States of America @ the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
Hello everyone my name is Elizabeth. I am a global messenger, and I been involved in Special Olympics about 14 yrs now.
When I was younger, I was teased because I was slower than a lot of other kids.
When I was little I used to let people call me retard all the time. I am now 47 years old and now when people say the word I tell them that word is upsetting to me.
I started with Special Olympics in Michigan when I was 19. I competed in state basketball twice, once winning gold, one silver.
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
My name is Cade Campbell I just participated in Special Olympics alpine skiing up at Terry Peak on the 2nd and 3rd of February and I had the greatest time of my life.
I'm 17 and I have autism. I get called the R-word a lot at school by a lot of people. I hate being called retard it makes me sad and it makes me want to cry all the time I hear that word. I wanted to tell everyone who has a special need that you are not alone.
Special Olympics athletes are my fans and my family and so are the coaches as well.
Special Olympics of North Carolina had changed my life since I moved here in this state and it is almost ten years ago. This is my second hometown.
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!!
One day me and my friend were walking home from school, and I have ADHD and dyslexia and I have to tell people not to say the R-word because it makes people feel like less than they really are.
I was hanging out with a friend and when I came back to my dorm I saw someone wrote the word retard on my whiteboard.
Jared Travis Domaschko
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.
This story came from a boy that is 14 year in New York on October 6th, 2015. This boy has a disability and at 11 years old he was treated like a monster at school, he was bullied everyday by boys who picked him up and thrown to the ground.