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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The R-Word is an extremely derogatory and demeaning word. I fight as much as I can to keep it out of the halls at my school.
This story came from a boy that is 14 year in New York on October 6th, 2015. This boy has a disability and at 11 years old he was treated like a monster at school, he was bullied everyday by boys who picked him up and thrown to the ground.
I have volunteered with people with special needs at my school for 3 years. I have not only grown to Learn about disabilities I have learned how to befriend people with disabilities. When I hear people use the R word it hurts.
Since I know and love people with intellectual disabilities the "r-word" is like nails on a chalkboard to my ears. It makes me sick to my stomach how casually it is used.
American Fork High school student Taylor Reece Spreads the Word to End the Word in the video below.
Gwen Olsen Saltern
Our precious Down Syndrome daughter was a wonderful gift to our family. We adored her. When I was sad or hurting, even if no one else noticed, she seemed to know.
I am a Special Olympics athlet so this hits home to me. Growing up, I was made fun of all the time... I had this word directed towards me many time. I have been competing in Special Olympics for just a little over 16 years.
My son is a future member of Jimmy's Jaguars. We are a community based team in the Salt Lake Valley. I don't want my son or any of my athletes talked down to and treated less than. Join us in getting rid of this word!
When I was in elementary school,I was a bully. I used to call this one kid retardo because his name was Ricardo. I didn't like it but it's what I thought I should do because my friends were doing it. Ever since then I've always been wracked with guilt.
Copied from Utah News
Why do you have to say the R-word? Is it kind? Do you even know that you are saying it? Think before you say, mostly saying the R-Word because that hurts people's feelings.
I know so many people who have disabilities or are not able do things that others can do. People call them the "R-word" all the time.
I am a peer tutor in my school right now and we had a lesson on this topic, and it really touched me. Now that I look at it in that way it makes so much more sense.
My cousins and me are really close and I always go over to her house and one of her neighbors in disabled and he is so amazing.
In my peer tutor class I take, I get to work with super cool kids. Everyday when I come in I get to see just how fun, AMAZING and full of potential these kids are.
I can see the difference it would make if his classmates called him the R-Word instead of cheering him on and smiling at him. I can tell he feels a lot better and confident when he has good friends who love him.
I am so excited to get to my last class, which is Peer Tutor. I work with a really smart and funny boy. He has the best handwriting I have ever seen; it's perfect. He always makes his name fit on the page even if there is no room left. I love being a Peer Tutor.
This year I am taking a peer tutor class. I work with an amazing girl. She is so talented and sweet. Almost every day I spend time with her she tells me "I'm ugly."
One day a boy called me retarded. It hurt me because I started thinking of what he would call my brother if he were to meet him with no knowledge of his disability.
Salt Lake Tribune columnist Kurt Kragthorpe wrote: "Josh Rothey jogged to the sideline after the first real soccer game of his life and declared that the competition made him feel "just like my brothers."
My story is up on my blog. I just posted it a couple days ago! Go read it and share it if you'd like! emisimps.blogspot.com
I don't use harsh or offensive language because I want to be kind and considerate of other's feelings and situations, but people should be able to say what they want even when it is incredibly offensive or insensitive. Otherwise it's never going to stop.
Using the R word hurts innocent people. My husband's little brother Ryan has Down syndrome and I cringe when I hear the R word.
I never understood how hurtful the r word was towards the special needs. I used to throw the word around like it was nothing.
This year my very best friend in the whole wide world was crowned Homecoming King! He is like a brother to me. I have no idea what I would do with out him!
He asked me one day what does "retard" mean. I didn't want to tell him what it meant but somone at school did and for the next couple of weeks he would come home crying.
I am constantly amazed at how many people, especially relatives, use the R word in my presence knowing I have two special needs children even after letting them know that I don't like that word!
I've been involved in Special Olympics for 25 years. I'm very grateful for the opportunity of working and competing with many athletes and coaches.