In every corner of the earth, Special Olympics is changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. These stories come from all around the world
- CHEERS FOR CHAMPIONS!
50 Game Changers
ESPN and Special Olympics have teamed up on a year-long storytelling initiative telling the stories of game changers and game changing moments toward inclusion. Check back each week for a new story of inclusion.
- Pledge to Include
Stories of Inclusion
Special Olympics and over 5 Million of our athletes are leading the charge for full inclusion of people with Intellectual Disabilities (ID). The movement is rooted in the spirit of our founder, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who took a rebellious stand against the injustices faced by people with Intellectual Disabilities in 1968. Today, the fight for inclusion is more relevant than ever. People of all ages, races, genders, cultures, backgrounds, and abilities continue to face discrimination, ignorance, and disparagement. Just as Eunice Kennedy Shriver did 50 years ago, Special Olympics is setting a stake in the ground to create change and, this time, our athletes are leading the way.
Stay In TouchSee inspiring stories, photos and videos in our Special Olympics monthly newsletter.CDC report reveals 1 in 10 U.S. children have been diagnosed with a developmental disability.2 Min ReadWhile playing college football at Bethel University, Jaran Roste discovered another passion: Special Olympics, leading him to become one of Special Olympics Minnesota's first student-athlete ambassadors.4 Min ReadA Special Olympics China Athlete Leader, a 16-year-old student at the Puyang Special Education School in Henan, shares his personal growth story with Special Olympics.4 Min Read
Special Olympics offers many ways to take part. There are short-term and long-term volunteer opportunities, the option of playing Unified Sports and to become a Special Olympics athlete.
Make a Difference
Please donate and help us get one more athlete onto the playing field.
About UsThrough the power of sports, people with intellectual disabilities discover new strengths and abilities, skills and success. Our athletes inspire people in their communities and elsewhere to open their hearts to a wider world of human talents and potential.
Our revolution starts with you. Upload your video, photos and story to add your voice to the unified generation.
The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
From a backyard summer camp for people with intellectual disabilities to a global movement, Special Olympics has been changing lives and attitudes since 1968.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver
Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of Special Olympics, was a pioneer in the worldwide struggle for rights and acceptance for people with intellectual disabilities.
Special Olympics is led by a senior management team with broad corporate and nonprofit experience. Seven regional offices around the world are headed up by managing directors who support the ongoing growth and development of programs in their regions. In addition, Special Olympics has a Global Athlete Leadership Council which features an Athlete Leader from each of the seven regions and provides feedback, guidance, and ideas to the Special Olympics International Board of Directors and Leadership Team.
About Intellectual Disabilities
Children and adults with intellectual disabilities inspire us every day at Special Olympics events around the world. But what are intellectual disabilities?
#unifiedgenerationThe 2023 Brightspot Unified Golf Challenge took place over 31 July – 1 August as 48 golfers descended upon Aldie, Virginia to play four 9-hole team matches over two days at The Club at Creigton Farms.1 Min ReadThe R-word, also known as the R-slur, is a hurtful term that remains prevalent throughout social media, according to a Kantar Social Listening study. The research shows that when social media users are posting about people with intellectual disabilities, 7 in every 10 of those posts are negative, and 6 in 10 contain a slur.2 Min ReadSpecial Olympics Africa Region and Ethiopian Airlines have joined together to put on the 19th annual Africa Leadership Conference from 18-20 September in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.1 Min ReadPhotographer Dillon Vibes shares his experience attending the Special Olympics World Games 2023 through photographs he captured while in Berlin. Below is a collection of photos and personal insight to his most memorable times at the Games.4 Min Read
ATHLETE HEALTH SCREENINGS