We are a global organization with programs in 170 countries. This site may be customized by language and geographic region.
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 4.7 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.
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!
Donate with confidence on our secure server.
Newsletter: Sign up and get inspiring stories!
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.
Kenneth.Giles By Kenneth Giles
My neighbor, her name is Madison. She is 13 and she has cerebral palsy from the neck down, so she cannot walk or stand up. Even though she can't walk, she's so much fun to hang out with. She can talk and laugh and she has a pet gerbil.
My dad passed away in 2003, and no matter what the sport is I have his initials somewhere on my equipment..
kristin kayla gibson
Kandi Sue Tisone
I am assistant coach for Special Olympics Fort Collins flag football. This is my second year and I love it.
Heather Kylene Hillebert
Vicki O'Keefe (Ben's mum)
I've been in Special Olympics for 14 years. I enjoyed it so much.
But seeing how far I've come in Special Olympics, I feel like I found my family away from my family.
Yvette Pople Patil
While growing up there was not a day or person who wouldn't call me the R word even my family called me and it defeated my strength and my zest for a brighter future.
Marquis Antwan Garner
Amy Lou Boyd
I had no one to love and no one loved me. Then in summer of 2008, I found a team called the Emporia Indies.
LEE S BLAKEMAN
I earned my 17th gold medal over all in state competition last weekend and my 10th gold medal in Richmond.
By Amanda Fusarini
I have seen so many athlete leaders from different counties at competitions, at the Polar Plunge and at athlete leadership training.
The Greensboro Police Department donated to Special Olympics North Carolina last Thursday, April 25th. I came to help out with the officers.
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.