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 more than 5.3 million athletes with intellectual disabilities and unified partners 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 involved with our Unified Sports, a quick path to friendship and fun.
Special Olympics has events and competitions happening in places all around the world. View our events.
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!
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Make a Difference
I was at school and I heard my friend Harrison say the r-word when I told him not to say it he asked why.
Lee S Blakeman
I thought I was too old to play basketball as I am 56 years old but over the course of the season I learned differently.
My name is Matt. I'm a special olympics Virginia athlete from area eight. A couple of years ago, I met a student athlete from Linfield college in Oregon named Montana. Montana was a star pitcher for her team playing for NCAA division three women's softball in Salem, Virginia.
My son stutters. All through his school years he was made fun of. I would volunteer at the school up until high school.
Our lives should be focused on the empowerment of all humanity.
A lot of the time, when I ask people to stop using the word "retarded," they're unsure as to how it can be hurtful.
Special Olympics participated in a panel at Georgetown University on January 25 for students in the Disability Studies Initiative. The panel introduced students to individuals with and without intellectual disabilities and how their lives have changed through their involvement in Special Olympics,
My story is really my brother's. He is the best example I can think of for what can be - and is - when we drop the negative descriptions.
Sawyer was never supposed to walk. My brother is now a runner.
I have helped at my school for two years with kids with disabilities.
Terri "Maria" Ridgway
On my way home after Law Enforcement Torch Run Conference in Phoenix, AZ, I had the opportunity to hear about a great volunteer.
Today, I want to tell you about one particular event called the Buddy Walk, why I’ve loved participating in this event, and what it means to me to challenge athletes to get involved.
LEE S BLAKEMAN
I earned my 17th gold medal over all in state competition last weekend and my 10th gold medal in Richmond.
I have ADHD/ADD, as does my brother. I can tolerate being called something hateful but I would never ever let someone get away with calling him anything bad.
As a teenager, my stepmother did not like me for being disabled. Sometimes I would do things incorrectly or slower because of my disabilities.
Katie McGinty Botha
Unfortunately, my employer 100% supports use of the R word. They have retaliated and ostracized me for formally reporting (per policy) its use by co-workers.
By Amie Dugan
By Katie McGinty Botha
My cousin, Nabi, inspired me because he has cerebral palsy, and people always call him retarded. IT IS NOT FAIR!
During my high school years, we had a Best Buddies group. It was where general education students hung out with special education students. It helped all of us to know we each had someone we could go to. The R word hurts. I hope many people pledge.
My daughter Cassandra, what can I say except that she is my saving grace. Cassie as we call her is intellectually impaired but, you'd never know it. She is the most caring, loving and beautiful person you will ever met.
My brother Josh has Down Syndrome, but he never let that stand in his way. On top of being one of the most genuinely caring, kind hearted, and pure personalities in existence, he is an athlete, an artist, an entertainer, a jokester, a hug bug, a prayer warrior, and a hero.
My 27-year-old daughter has been participating in Special Olympics since she was 10. I believe that Special Olympics opens more eyes to the capabilities of the athletes.
Since the 6th grade i have been working with kids that have all kinds of disability's. These kids can't help their actions. On days that i feel really down they all manage to make me smile.
There are many words that can hurt anyone, but there is only one word that can hurt like the r-word. Why use it? To make yourself powerful? Seem cool?
When I was in elementary school, some people who were smarter than others were moved up to an more advanced class. I wasn't one of those people and I had a struggle with learning.
I have some friends that both have autism and cerebral palsy. They are some of my best friends and they have inspired me in so many ways to stand up to the r-word
Matthew S Hall
Special Olympics really changed my life because I now have a whole lot of friends I have made over the years. Special Olympics has taught me how to be a good teammate, a good team player and taught me a lot of confidence in myself.
David Michael Bowen
I disgusts me to hear people flippantly using the r-word in their everyday comments. At my job, where I began working two and a half years ago, I swear I heard the word at least 5 times every day.
My younger sister was born with cerebral palsy and I love her so much, but most of the kids at my school (including my friends, sadly) use the word for a replacement for stupid and enough is enough.