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
I am on the Autism spectrum. While I am high-functioning and intelligent, that doesn't mean people always react positively when I tell them I have Autism.
We have more than one special kid in our family and the r-word is my biggest pet peeve. People use it all the time, but nothing makes me angrier as when it is used to describe a child.
I grew up with my grandparents and my uncle who is not that much older than me, so I watched him go through middle school and high school thinking he was the coolest person on earth.
I have a son with Down Syndrome and many other difficulties and even family members say the r-word in everyday conversation.
NEISD Media Production
“Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” This was the oath that 600-plus Special Olympic athletes exclaimed before kicking of this year’s North East ISD Special Olympics track meet
This is the first year my school has done this, so it's amazing to see what we have accomplished
I have been able to work with kids with disabilities since I was in elementary school, I am now about to be a senior in High School.
I'll never forget the day that I used the R-word. It was the first and last.
I knew somebody that had special impairments and my friends all called him that mean nasty thing. He ended up becoming very depressed and had to even get more therapy! I couldn't believe it. Please lets spread the word to end the word! :)
I have sons and 2 are twin boys. They are human, all humans deserve respect.
When I was younger, I was teased because I was slower than a lot of other kids.
I am 16 years old and I have an older sister with Down syndrome. If you don't know what Down syndrome is, it's OK, it's an extra chromosome.
I was in high-school kids use that word as if it was not hurting anybody and laugh about it and they called me it and told me to get on the short bus.
i hate the r word. i always have. I'm 15 and when i hear say things like "aw i don't want to ride the retard bus." or "thats the retarded class room."
My brother, who has autism and is high functioning, is very important to me and my family. As a 14-year-old, I know a lot of kids my age misuse the r-word and with that comes different scenarios.
I grew up with fraternal twins, one "normal" and one with Down's Syndrome. He protected us from the bullies with his strength and we protected him from the teasers with our double team.
My baby sister was born when I was 4 & not like other babies. She was born with Down Syndrome. It did't make me love her any less.
I remember in high school a long, long time ago when school kids rode dinosaurs to school that we use to tease the intellectually challenged call them the r-word. After I got out of school and into college we still called people the r-word.
Myles Bennett, @RethinkRetarded
My aunt was mentally and physically disabled. My entire family is sensitive to the use of the R-word. Realizing that there is a serious social issue that isn't getting the recognition it deserves, I started a movement called Rethink Retarded.
Well my story begins when i was a freshman in high school and all the time i would hear people say the r-word and it would drive me crazy so i decided to join meet in the middle to stop the r-word cause everyone needs respect
KHS Best Buddies Club Parent Team
My daughter Kearstyn experienced 3 Right Frontal Lobe Infarct (Strokes) at birth delivery. From the beginning we heard nothing but negative, negative, negative and nothing positive or even what to expect.
I am my son's voice since he is not fully verbal and his cousins and his Dad as well as I are always the first to stand between him and the uneducated people that need a reminder on common courtesy. My son is no different than any other child he is just more Loving.
i get angry when i hear someone say the r-word retard and its just so annoying that i started to join my meet in the middle group and i its amazing that i was able to help out with the spread r-word campaign for my school
My son Zachary was born with Down syndrome. When I went to get his SSI going, the lady told me to sign the paper saying he's the R word... I refused.
I will always have Aspergers but I will have the support of my family, friends, and those who know how I am. Like my favorite line from my favorite movie, "Temple Grandin," we are "different, but not less." That is my life motto.
I have never used the r-word. Although I know many people don't mean any harm by saying it... When I hear it, it cuts deep.
On my 3rd birthday, my life & the way I viewed the world was forever changed!! My little brother Justin was born & he was the greatest birthday present I have ever received. Yes, he has Down Syndrome.but,, no that's not WHO he is.
Kimberly A. Stine
First off, when I was in High School I wasn't popular either and was classified as gothic and into dark stuff..But when I lived in Pennsylvania, I was a volunteer each year at the events that had taken place at our school.
I have never had a "bad" day with my group. The folks I coach energize me as they do those around them.
I have two grandsons (brothers) diagnosed with full-blown autism and one grandson (their cousin) with Asperger's. I work in a school lunchroom and have the privilege of serving the special needs classes.
It is so terrible...That "normal" kids will make fun of disabled children.
There is no such thing as normal! My best friend is disabled...He's not stupid.
I am all against the R-Word and people at my school use it like its nothing!
its bugs me when people say the r word a lot so i decided to join meet in the middle for my freshman year and i am still in meet in the middle for this year and i toke the pledge to erase the rword
Last year, I met Mary Francis and during my 50-meter race I saw her on the ground, so I stopped, ran back and got her up and we both crossed the finish line together.
I get very upset, because as a parent to a child with an emotional disability, she is not allowed to participate or be part of special groups such as the dance team. This is discrimination.
My Aunt Brenda is a inspiration to me. She is why I want to be a special education teacher. My Aunt Kristi doesn't use the r-word and gets very upset when someone says it near her.
As a child in the '70s, I was called "retarded" by my peers. I'd run home from school crying as the kids shouted that word at my back. It seared itself into my ears and into my mind.
I've only been in Meet in the Middle for a little over a year and I've not only made a difference in their lives (athletes) but they've made a difference in mine. They've turned my whole life around and on the right course.
I spend a lot of time reading political posts on the internet. Every time I see "retard" or a variation of it "libtard" on internet posts, I paste the link to the R Word page.
I am a a teacher and I have banned the word "retard" in my classroom.