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!
RJ Nealon speaks at podium.
Ever since I was little, my dream was to work at ESPN. I always felt most comfortable in sports competition, it was my escape, my first love and a way to prove myself.
2 Min Read
Brian Kei Maxino - We Matter, Too
As a unified generation, let us stand together and declare that all people matter.
2 Min Read
A photo of the Dayas-Tokoto family.
Discover how Special Olympics Unified Sports created a positive change in their son’s life.
1 Min Read
Ben Collins and Anthony Dinkins stand at crosswalk.
This winter, Benjamin Collins noticed something troubling on his way to work. The Special Olympics athlete and Operations Specialist at the organization’s headquarters couldn’t hear the countdown beeps and verbal cues at the crosswalks on L Streets between 18th and 19th in Washington, D.C.
1 Min Read
Female players stand in circle with hands in air.
More than 200 delegates from 12 countries took part in the inaugural Special Olympics International Football Championship held in Chennai, from 3 August to 6 August 2019.
1 Min Read
A group in red football kits stand on a football pitch with their arms around each other facing the camera smiling.
Speaking at his team’s Gothia Special Olympics Trophy debut in Gothenburg, Special Olympics Sweden athlete, Joakim Lantz discusses what it takes to be a good leader.
1 Min Read
A group of 13 athletes and representatives standing an kneeling in two rows outside.
Around the world, Youth Leaders with and without intellectual disabilities are leading community-based projects for inclusion. Paola and Maria, two Special Olympics youth leaders from El Salvador, share their experiences working together to create change.
2 Min Read
A group of footballers in red and white kits stand in line on a stage. Among the predominantly male group, there are two blonde girls looking at the camera with their thumbs up.
Kimberley and Rachel, aged 16, are the only two girls on their football squad of ten. They represent a new generation of girls with intellectual disabilities determined to spread their passion for football far and wide!
1 Min Read
Daniel captures the scenery of New York while on the Brooklyn Bridge with his mother.
During the week of July 15–20 as our Special Olympics movement celebrates a Global Week of Inclusion, I would like to share with you how I will be showcasing inclusion and “celebrate togetherness.”
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Renee’s magical 50th Year Anniversary Celebration leaves a lasting memory.
As the Global Week of Inclusion began I thought, "what does inclusion really mean, what does it really look like?"
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Hanna standing next to a bride as the bride holds a bouquet and has her arm around Hanna's shoulder.
To celebrate inclusion in my life, I was able to take part in some really fun events during the Global Week of Inclusion!
2 Min Read
Six people on a set standing around a table with food.
Los Angeles-based Unified Schools teammates, Diego Salazar and Iantha Kahn, served up some savory salads with Mara Sampo’ and Chef Massimo Denaro from Sfixio in Beverly Hills during the “Special Olympics Live” stream-a-thon.
1 Min Read