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Special Olympics 2022 Holiday Ornament
Special Olympics empowers people with intellectual disabilities to succeed on and off the court. Give $65 or more to support athletes, and we'll send you this ornament as thanks for your life-changing gift.
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New Documentary Spotlights the Power of Inclusion in Pakistan
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At annual Conference, original LETR runners light the way to a fundraising milestone
2022 Share Care Winner
How Special Olympics Is Working to End Health Disparities for People with Intellectual Disabilities won the Disruptors in Healthcare category.
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Every day, Special Olympics is building an inclusive world—a world that celebrates ALL abilities. This fall, Special Olympics is celebrating how inclusion makes everybody's life better.
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Explore a world of Captivating health resources.
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For every Special Olympics athlete in the US, there are 13 more waiting on the sidelines. Will you give them a chance?
  • The Revolution is Inclusion
    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
    • Inclusion Works We celebrate our most inclusive games in Special Olympics history by profiling global athletes competing in the Abu Dhabi World Games in March.
    • 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 Touch
    See inspiring stories, photos and videos in our Special Olympics monthly newsletter.
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    As Far As They Can Run follows the lives of three athletes over the course of a year to how participating in Special Olympics offers them hope.
    1 Min Read
    A high-school student at a Unified School in Senegal shares the impact Special Olympics programming has made on her cousin with Down syndrome.
    2 Min Read
    Jana Kennedy’s passion for working in the prep kitchen stems from her relationship with her grandma.
    2 Min Read
Young athletes running; Get Involved with your Special Olympics program banner
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.
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OUR ORGANIZATION
  • About Us
    Through 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.
    • Mission 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.
    • History 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.
    • Leadership Teams 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?
    Our revolution starts with you. Upload your video, photos and story to add your voice to the unified generation.

    #unifiedgeneration
    Our Special Olympics swimmers experienced something special: they competed in a joint relay with the stars of the scene at the FINA World Cup in Berlin—an important sign for inclusion and equality.
    1 Min Read
    The partnership allows The Daily Mile and Special Olympics to collaborate to offer trainings and share resources that promote physical activity, social and emotional learning, and health promotion year-round.
    3 Min Read
    10 Tips for Supporting Dignity and Fighting Negative Stereotypes
    2 Min Read
    ESPN Names Top-5 Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools® for 2022
    4 Min Read
Our Reach
3,131,611
ATHLETES
33,742
COMPETITIONS
527,001
VOLUNTEERS
201
COUNTRIES & JURISDICTIONS
18,496
ATHLETE HEALTH SCREENINGS
15,008
Unified Schools