We are a global organization with programs in over 220 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 4.5 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.
Explore how Special Olympics is creating a more inclusive, welcoming world for all.
A gift of $35 can help train an athlete for an entire season. Help us reach one more person.
Discover the many ways you can support Special Olympics through your estate plans.
Celebrate a friend or pay tribute in memory of a loved one with a donation to Special Olympics in their name.
Your fundraising campaign will help us transform more lives through the joy of sports.
Donate with confidence on our secure server.
Newsletter: Sign up and get inspiring stories!
Make a Difference
My cousins have Down syndrome and they have also been called that word several times which is not right under any conditions.
hi my friend Zoe M is trying to stop the r-word because of her sister and many people with Down syndrome. She has notified the whole school about the "R" word and how it affects her and her family
HI this is Zoe M again thank you to every one who is helping stop the r word I am trying super hard to stop this word.
Zoe, our friend in our class has a sister with well you know. Zoe loves and cares for her younger sister. So she took her bravery and stood and talked to the whole grade. So now, we have posters on lockers, walld, doors, and glass advitizing the R-Word campaign, By: Zoe. We even bought a banner for
Violet, my friend's sister is a very wonderful girl. But she has been called the R-Word.
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.
Hi I`m Zoe M and I am getting my town to stop saying the r-word .I have and still am writing to authors PS this website will have many more pledges.
Students in the L.C
One day I was in school and a kid came up to me and called me the R-word. I got really mad.
So, I'm not disabled...well mentally at least. I have Aspergers Syndrome, a form of Autism, so there's people who use the r-word in a derogatory way towards me.
My brother Derek is autistic and to most people that means he is slow, incapable, and below the average, however his description couldn't be any more opposite. He is the SMARTEST, KINDEST, AND MOST LOVING, person in my life.
I was taught at a very young age everyone deserves kindness and respect. We lived behind an apartment building where the mentally and physically challenged rented out the whole bottom floor.
my name is Sandra Kryla and i was in Special Olympics from 1972 to 1978 and in that time i went to one world game in 1975. that was the best thing i did in my life and now i would love to be at the end of a race to hug the person come over the finish line.
My daughter is a beautiful young girl. She does not LOOK like she has a disability but at 11 she is far behind her peers intellectually and in maturity. My heart breaks when I hear children AND adults that do not know her being rude or insulting towards her.
I have learning disabilities. I play field hockey, musical theatre and I am in four clubs. My friends talk to me. They help me in field hockey, the musical and clubs.
I have a friend. She is sweet, and kind, and she always brightens up my day. I see her when she walks in the room and she lights up everyone around her.
As the twin sister to a mentally disabled brother, I have always spoken up about the hurt caused when using the r word, which was often used by kids when I was a teen simply as a derogatory put down. It is every bit a hate slur, and should not be tolerated.
I've always had a passion for working with people who have special disabilities. However, I didn't make my dislike of the use of the r-word known amongst my friends. Even though I didn't, they would turn to me immediately after using it and say "sorry".
He said, "That's (the r-word)" to our whole team. Then our teacher got mad at him. So she showed us the R-word website and inspired me.
I was in art class when a guy used the r-word. Simultaneously, my friend Ben and I corrected him. He responded that it wasn't offensive. We spent 20 minutes trying to convince him using whatever means necessary.
Been in Special Olympics since I was 8. I love meeting new people from all over the world. I'll do Special Olympics as long as my body will let me.
My Uncle, who passed away about 2 weeks ago had special needs. When I was younger my Mom told me about how all the kids at school would make fun of him, they'd call him a retard.
I am blessed to work with several amazing moms with intellectual disabilities, who need support with the daily challenges of raising their young children.
I was in gym class and because I suffer from a rare disease of CIDP, I can't run as fast or be as strong as others, so I was walking in panting and sweating ...
On April 10, 2014, students and staff from Lee Middle and High School in Lee, MA, will once again have an opportunity to sign their names to the pledge posters that will be set up in the main lobby.
I am a swim instructor for a program that works with kids with physical and/or mental disabilities. It's once a week for an hour, but I wish it was longer.
Before knowing the effect the R-word really had on kids with mental disabilities, I used to say it without hesitation. Now even the thought of saying it makes my cringe. Spread the Word to End the Word.
Using the R-word to apply to either people with developmental disabilities, or as an epithet hurled at someone who you disdain for whatever reason, is never acceptable! It all it is always Hateful and Hurtful!
I have autism and severe LD. Growing up was called retard. I didn't understand what it meant till I got older then it did hurt and was upsetting.
What truly inspires me about Cristina is her conviction to Special Olympics and to end the R-Word. Whenever she hears someone says it she tells them they shouldn't and explains why.
Here's a message to all of you who've been the victim: You can prove them wrong. You can go out into the world and make a difference. It may not be the "normal" way but really what is "normal?"
Martha B McManamy
I am very proud of my little brother, Bruce. He is 55 years old and has his own apartment, despite having Down's Syndrome. He is cheerful, accepts others, and works very hard.
My name is Kate, and I have Williams syndrome, and I'm proud of it. I would like to tell you a story about a time that I will never forget it.
Gail Steele, coach
My cousin has been brain washed to think that she is slow or actually needs help, and it hurts to see her think that way. It stinks to go to school and see how rude the kids can be.