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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.
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Make a Difference
By Kari Jo Faulhaber
A post on the StoryTeller blog tells the story of a Special Olympics athlete and the opportunities that changed his life.
Hearing "that's retarded" or "you're retarded" always evokes heavy feelings of disappointment and hurt inside me. It is the year 2016 and the impossible is being achieved everywhere we look.
My sister Briana, a severely-autistic young adult who recently celebrated her 22nd birthday on Friday the 13th, is an example of an imperfect person living in a not-so-perfect world where PERFECTION is always an outside issue.
I took the pledge cause I'm a mom to an awesome daughter Amanda.. She is 12, and an animal expert!" She is my hero!" I love her to the moon and back!" She is so smart, she has a contagious laugh, and a wonderful personality..
I used the word too much till i was told that my son had special needs. Before I was told that, I actually used the word on him. Now when I look back, I feel like the worst father in the world.
R A Hudson
The r-word was always used in our home growing up. We meant no harm, but a beautiful and intelligent ray of sunshine came into our families lives and has opened our eyes to the repercussion and disrespect this word holds.
I feel bad I used to use this word. I finally saw the light when a close cousin had a son with Down syndrome. I said the word one day around my son and he replied by saying "I no longer use that word."
In so many ways, many of us are special. We share our talents regardless of what they are, we share our hopes, our dreams and our love.
My best friend has a disability and I have witnessed a few times of people calling him the R word. I have gotten in fights with them people multiple times.
I was in 6th grade when I first learned about Special Olympics and ever since that day my life has actually been amazing.
Who inspired me was Brady Green and his mom.
i have heard the word so many times. i have told them people to stop but they don't. so I take the people it is being told to and do fun stuff so they cant be hurt by it
Taylor D & Ashley M
Lisa L. Magel
My name is Lisa Magel. My older brother, David, has Down Syndrome. He is an amazingly funny, loving, silly, caring, and sensitive person.
he's not the r-word
just because he can't speak words with his mouth.
he speaks words with his iPad,
with that gleam in his eyes
and the way he holds my hand.
I use to say the R-word often, but then I started working with adults with mental disabilities, and they completely changed my outlook on disabilities. I love the people I work with, and i will never disrespect them and say the R-word anymore!
I am a coach for our county team where I live and I also have a sister who is a Special Olympics athlete. The athletes have taught me more than I could ever imagine. I love being able to be a part of this wonderful thing.
A year ago the staff and clients fro ProAct a day program in Eagan Mn put on a play for Special Olympics Spread the Word to End the Word.
When I first started special olympics in Minnesota, I didn't know that there was so much fun stuff to do, but then when you realize what you can do it makes you think about what you want to do with your life.
I have always felt disgusted when people use the "R" word in the wrong context. In my eyes it is just morally wrong.
I have been around the r-word at school. One time someone called me that. My heart was hurting. I was in tears.
My brother and I recently got nominated from area 9 to participate in YAC (Youth Activation Committee). Almost everyday I hear the r-word and it makes me want to cry.
Chad Michael Older
I was coaching two Special Olympics athletes in the pentathlon. One was getting down on himself and he wanted to quit in the sport in the middle of the tournament.
I was at recess when someone in my class called my friend the r-word. The r-word is extremely hurtful to many people. I am working to stop the r-word and people all over should be, too.
One day at school, one of my classmates called my friend the r-word. The r-word is hurtful to many people. I am continuing to work to stop the r-word.
Special Olympics Minnesota
I'm in the Youth Activation Committee through Special Olympics. Each year I do several projects and every year my school gets informed and takes the pledge against hurtful use of the R-word. It's amazing :)
We even have students raising their right hand and the "swearing in" of a pledgee. Every
I am proud of how many pledges have been made and I hope a lot more people take the time to try and change and eliminate the R word!!
Kari Jo Johnson
Unfortunately growing up I used the R-word once and awhile and didn't think much about it. However, this past year plus I have had the pleasure to work as a Special Olympics Coordinator.
I had a best friend that I had known for 13 years I have been in special ed for 8 years because I have Social Anxiety, General Anxiety, ADD and a Learning Disability in writing/reading and math.
A few years ago my niece (14 years old) was at school while witnessing classmates making fun of special needs kids and calling them the "R" word.