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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.
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Make a Difference
As a teenager, my stepmother did not like me for being disabled. Sometimes I would do things incorrectly or slower because of my disabilities.
When I was in high school I was made fun of daily. Sometimes I was even shoved into lockers by my peers for no reason.
The R word...A lot of people don’t think before they speak, they just say whatever they are thinking. Which honestly a lot of the times is mean and hurtful things.
This is the first year my school has done this, so it's amazing to see what we have accomplished
My brother had a genetic disease called progeria, and he had a big head. He was very pale. He no like when people call him r-word.
Hopefully, in my lifetime, the word will end and my children and grandchildren will not even know the word existed.
The derogatory use of the “R” word is too common. By using it as a replacement for words like idiotic or stupid, whether intentionally
Katie McGinty Botha
We were kindred spirits right from the start. She was 2 years older, but from the beginning we were buddies.
This is something I take seriously. Working with kids with intellectual disabilities has opened my eyes more and more to how words can hurt.
A couple of summers ago I worked with several mentally disabled people. It was difficult at first, but in time I learned to love them.
It really enraged me when I was told that most of the other students barely acknowledge the kids in this class. I have heard many kids pass by me and the kids and call me the r-word.
When I was a kid, I was kind of weird. I didn't have a lot of friends, and that was okay. I'd be on the playground, and maybe one or two people would play with me.
I have worked with people with special needs for years now and every single one of them have changed my life. They are the happiest, most inspirational people I have ever met.
She kept calling my brother the "word". I didn't didn't like that at all. So I turned to her and said. "Do you even know what it means?"
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.
I became fond of this girl who was a little older than me at that time, she loved softball.
Throughout my life so far I've had the honor to meet many people with an intellectual disability. Whenever I am with those people I can feel myself feeling happier than ever.
The main purpose of this video was to expose the word retarded and help everyone, especially in the high school level, understand why it’s so offensive and why it is so hurtful.
I am a student in high school, and for the past three months I have been working on a short documentary on a very important cause to me.
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.
When I was growing up almost every school grade I was in I was called the R word. It hurt my feelings a lot.
Special Olympics has helped me give back to the community and help out with people with disabilities.
By Amie Dugan
I'm a senior in high school and have volunteered with the special needs community since about 7th grade. It's hard being an advocate for this cause as a teen because there is of course judgement and the "why do you care?" question.
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.
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.
This was my first year volunteering at the Special Olympics in Columbus, Ohio for the Summer Games I will say that that was my first of many years to come.