Health Media Tips - July 2019

Looking for a story? We’re here to help. This webpage compiles latest story leads about the work of Special Olympics Health, made possible by the Golisano Foundation.


HIV Awareness Month

  • Fighting HIV and Malaria in Nigeria. Since 2015, through the support of ExxonMobil, Special Olympics Nigeria is providing malaria and HIV/AIDS education, testing and services to people with intellectual disabilities, their families and communities.

Fragile X Syndrome Awareness Month

  • What is Fragile X Syndrome? Fragile X syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects a person’s development, especially that person’s behavior and ability to learn. Fragile X syndrome is the most common form of inherited intellectual and developmental disability.

July 30, International Day of Friendship

  • Ben and Nell. Nell Coonen-Korte had no idea her passion for sport would inspire the creation of a global inclusive fitness model. Nell’s powerlifting coach, Ben Swarts, noticed the huge health disparities in fitness and health for people with intellectual disabilities. Together, Ben and Nell developed the SOfit health promotion program with Special Olympics Minnesota



SHAPE America and Special Olympics: 50 Years and Counting. SHAPE America is the national organization that serves as the voice for 200,000+ health and physical education professionals across the nation. SHAPE America (formerly AAHPER) was involved with the Kennedy Foundation in the formative years of Special Olympics and went on to serve as an endorsing organization for the first Special Olympics Games in 1968!


Lifesaving and Life-changing health screenings

At Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi, March 14-22, we provided free health screenings to over 5,800 people at Healthy Athletes in seven disciplines [PDFs]: Fit Feet, Opening Eyes, Special Smiles, FUNfitness, Health Promotion, Healthy Hearing, and Strong Minds.

  • 59% were wearing the wrong size shoes
  • Over 250 hearing aids were distributed free of charge
  • Over 800 pairs of glasses were distributed free of charge
  • 44% had untreated tooth decay

A team of international physicians, health professionals, and students volunteered to deliver the free health screenings. Volunteers were trained by specialized clinicians to follow best practices in screening people with intellectual disabilities. The knowledge and experience from Healthy Athletes goes home with these volunteers, where they are better equipped to provide quality care to people with intellectual disabilities.

Health is “a top priority at World Games Abu Dhabi.”
Timothy Shriver, Special Olympics Chairman

To learn more visit the Health Media page.

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