Join our athletes from across the world to build inclusive, unified communities.
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 5.3 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.
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Make a Difference
I hope I see an end to the R word in my lifetime. Thank you for your campaign and determination to make that happen.
My cousin was born with Down syndrome so I have always felt something special to children with different needs. As an Occupational Therapist I have worked with many of these children and they all have special gifts and radiant smiles that light up the room.
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.
My friend K has Down Syndrome. She came up and asked me to tie her shoe. I tied her shoe. My cousin said "why are you tying her shoe? You shouldn't help retarded people."
For a long time I thought I could never have children again let alone one with Down syndrome....I didn't know he had Down syndrome until he was born...which didn't matter if I knew before that or after...I feel in love with him the moment I laid eyes on him.
I went to an (unnamed) school where using the r-word was acceptable. An example would be when one day during class, two boys were just joking around, and one of the other boys' lens broke out of his glasses. Well...
My 3 year old brother Ethan has autism. His disability never stops him from cuddling up in my lap and bouncing around the house with a smile on his face. He is my number one inspiration as to why I took the pledge! God Bless!
My brother Jack was born with Down syndrome, and he is probably my inspiration. Kids all around the world are being abused by this word and it should stop.
I am a proud best friend to a now high school graduate with Down syndrome. This boy is full of life, joy, and he always has a smile on his face.
As an autistic individual, I'm taking action at my school to end the use of the r-word. However, my family and friends have been anything but supportive.
People need to love others and realize we need to stop name calling. The use of any word we choose to use for whatever will eventually grow connotations to it.
My mom is a special education teacher. I've always been around children with special needs, and I've always refrained from using the r-word, but I never said anything when people would use it.
Evalynn Monsky Duncan
I never used the "R" word because my dad, a practicing pediatrician for almost 50 years, showed respect and affection for those patients and their families.
In 2012, a mother and daughter team, Mary and Emily Belk of Alabama, took part in the pilot of the Special Olympics Get Fit for Life program, part of the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA+) challenge in the United States.
"Team sports bring people together"- There is no better summary of Unified Sports. The team from the University of Alabama has been practicing together for the last few months to prepare for the big game against LSU.