Our Athletes
athlete lead
Athletes are the heart of Special Olympics. Our athletes are children and adults with intellectual disabilities from all around the world—5.6 million and counting! They are finding success, joy and friendship as part of our global community. They're also having lots of fun!
A behind-the-scenes view of the NBA virtual fan experience on Microsoft Teams.
To say everything is a bit different these days is an understatement. But the NBA is doing everything it can to make things feel normal.
3 Min Read
Greg flexing his muscles.
Professional video shoots are full of flashing lights, loud noises and new scenarios. For someone with autism who has sensitivity to flashing lights, this setting can be overwhelming and intimidating. But Greg did not let that stop him from participating in the School of Strength fitness series.
1 Min Read
The Landscapes with Naveh Elder Welcomes ESPN | Special Olympics: Athletes with a disability, diversity and Inclusion | Wokie Daboh, Kate Jackson, and John Papa; images of the speakers are included under each persons name.
Special Olympics has come a long way since 1968 and now it goes beyond just sports. In the past two weeks, the Landscape Podcast, a series of episodes highlighting people, programs and businesses changing the landscape for individuals with any type of disability, has focused on Special Olympics and ESPN.
3 Min Read
Hassam, wearing a blue jacket, poses for a photo while holding a certificate from the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi.
How a Love of Football Helps Hassam Set Goals and Accomplish Them
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Anas' story
Anas Khalil Al Zorba was once described by some as hyperactive with excessive movement. Then, he joined Special Olympics Palestine. Because of his sports training, the exercise and rules of game helped him control his energy and gain discipline. Not only did his skills and dedication improve his behavior, self-reliance and independence, but they also got him noticed by Special Olympics coaches and staff.
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A picture of Loretta with text that reads: Happy Birthday Loretta Claiborne. The text is illustrated with streamers and balloons.
Loretta Claiborne has traveled the world with Special Olympics since starting to compete in 1970 with Special Olympics Pennsylvania. Over the past 50 years, she’s grown into one of Special Olympics’ most influential voices.
2 Min Read
Special Olympics Youth Leaders Making a Global Impact
Today, on International Youth Day, Special Olympics is helping to highlight youth leaders with and without intellectual disabilities who are leading for global action today and tomorrow for a more inclusive world. August 12 was declared International Youth Day by the U.N. in 1999 to celebrate the voices and engagement of young people who are working to create change in their communities, nations and the world.
Special Olympics Middle East/North Africa Youth, Lead to Include
International Youth Day recognizes youth engagement for global action. To celebrate, some young people who took part in the Special Olympics Middle East/North Africa Youth Leadership Summit 2020 share the impact it had on them and their vision for a more inclusive world!
Kristine poses with her Special Olympics USA World Games trading card and smiles.
On and off the field, Kristine Hughes is a champion of inclusion. She’s a Special Olympics athlete, an athlete leader, a certified coach, and an official. She is also the Athlete Leadership Manager and a Sargent Shriver Global Messenger for Special Olympics North Carolina.
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Special Olympics Argentina Youth Leader shows her fruit skewers.
Special Olympics athletes are known for their athleticism, determination, and all-around inclusion. However, their skills go way beyond the fields and into places like kitchens!
1 Min Read
A man runs at the soccer ball. He is wearing a blue and red uniform. A player from a different team runs after the ball behind him. | A Special Olympics Great Britain stands on a football field showcasing his gold medal.
Winning Gold at the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015
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Jaime Cruz and RAVVA in a scene from RAVVA’s music video.
Champions of Inclusion contribute to a more dignified, just and inclusive world for people with intellectual disabilities (ID), celebrating the strength of a world where we all enjoy the same rights.
4 Min Read