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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.
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!
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Your efforts will help transform more lives through the joy of sports. Get started today!
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Make a Difference
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.
I have never been very fond of the R-word in general especially because I knew people with disabilities.
Our sister has cerebral palsy. She is the best sister, friend and fun to be around.
A week ago, I had a life-changing experience. My best friend called me the R-word.
I had just finished cleaning a patients teeth who has Down's syndrome and his mother and I were sharing stories of our boot camp exercise programs when I described myself using the R-word.
Like so many others, it was just a word I used to express distaste for something or someone. But after my son was born with Down syndrome, I realized how incredibly offensive that word truly is.
When my oldest hears kids using this word, she finds herself very upset. Instead of yelling at the kids, she educates them.
I began my involvement with Special Olympics Southern California over three years ago and began teaching early childhood Special Education to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Though I did not use the word often, I completely stopped using the r word a long time ago.
My son and daughter and I were at Zuma Beach, one perfect summer California day. Great waves, no undertow, blue sky, people laughing...
I was on a Skype group chat, I was asking who was who and they told me and one person called me stupid but the other called me retarded for not knowing who he was.
Rudy R Castillo
I have been coaching bowling Special Olympics Bowling for the past 3 years. This past spring I stepped forward and began coaching a basketball team.
Scott Gleason in USA Today wrote: "When the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver founded the Special Olympics in 1968, she believed people with intellectual disabilities could change the world if given the proper stage."
Law enforcement and Special Olympics athletes from all over the world will carry the Flame of Hope to more than 100 communities throughout California, raising awareness for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games.
Today, on the steps of the California State Capitol, Special Olympics athletes and law enforcement officers from all over the world were joined by California Governor Jerry Brown and Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom for the launch of the Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg.
The 2015 Special Olympics World Games is proud to announce Michelle Obama's attendance at the Opening Ceremony on July 25, 2015, celebrating the commencement of the world's largest sports and humanitarian event this year.
Stevie Wonder, Avril Lavigne, O.A.R., Cody Simpson, Nicole Scherzinger, J Balvin and Reach Up LA theme song creator Siedah Garrett will headline the Opening Ceremony of the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles. Appearances by Jimmy Kimmel, Eva Longoria, Michael Phelps, Yao Ming, G
Special Olympics GenUin
Nancy Vicario (mom)
Hi my name is Nicole and I am a swimmer with Special Olympics and I think that people should stop saying the R word in their vocabulary. It hurts the feelings of people with disabilities.
It's hurtful and makes me feel bad. It's disrespectful and can make people do harm. People can be seriously hurt by this word. I feel this campaign has a strong meaning to it. So i want to be a part of this by helping. Spread the word to end the word. X out the old R_word and put the NEW and improved one in: Respect.
FRW dba Industrial Support Systems (ISS)
28 years ago I worked with a girl who had Down syndrome and to this day I smile when ever I think of her....We used to sit out on the steps of our salon and enjoy many fun and heart-warming conversations!
I have been BLESSED to be around such wonderful human beings; despite their handicaps they are better people than those most call NORMAL.
I have a little brother named Jack who's almost 8 years old. He was born having Down syndrome. The day he was born changed my life completely, I've never loved anyone like the way I love this boy!!
My older sister has an intellectual disability and is the most amazing person I know. My love and respect for her has inspired me in all aspects of my life.
Special Olympics Southern California President and CEO Bill Shumard visited the Special Olympics Los Angeles (SOLA) Lions Clubs this month to welcome Lion Steve Nichols as their new Club President and to wish them well as they embark on another year of serving SELA area Special Olympics athletes.
This summer my daughter volunteered to be a videographer at special Olympics and I came along as her assistant. I am always touched by the amount of love from the parents and athletes.
cynthia lanell pitts.
I was born with a learning disability and a nervous condition.
my hair would not grow so I was teased a lot in school. it was hard for me to keep up with the other children in class.
Lynn L Bryson
The autism can already been confirmed by another doctor at UCLA. There was a program there that I thought would benefit my son. A lot of tests were done on my son in order to qualify for the program.
Armand Reforma Jr
ESPN will be the official broadcaster of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles, giving ESPN’s hundreds of millions of fans worldwide the chance to learn more about Special Olympics' mission to promote acceptance and inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities.
Southern California will welcome 7,000 athletes from 177 countries with a three-day “Host Town” program before the Special Olympics World Summer Games kicks off in Los Angeles in July 2015.
Kimberly A. Sautner
Ten days after he was born, I found out he had Down Syndrome and my life has been changed, for the better, ever since. Mason has brought more joy and love into my life than I could have ever dreamed or hoped for.
Our middle Daughter has Special Needs. The doctors told us she wouldn't live past 5 years old when she was born. Jackie just turned 25 last month. My family was so very tired of hearing the word "retard", that I needed to make some kind of statement.
I'm making this pledge for my boy, so everyone could spread the word and bring up awareness. This is for Romeo.
My daughter was born with "Hydro-cephalic" and she is so happy ...she would never notice or understand any negativity....but people are still mean in the world....and it hurts us to see anyone look at her in a negative way....