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!
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.
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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.
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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.
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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!
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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!
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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.
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Amy standing in front of her father as he gives her advice on the green.
Special Olympics golfer, Amy Bockerstette, who earned a college scholarship to Paradise Valley Community College for golf, was invited to compete in the 19th Annual 2019 ESPY Celebrity Golf Classic. The golf tournament serves as a fundraiser for the V Foundation which provides grants for cancer research and resources for cancer patients.
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Special Olympics and lifestyle brand Aerie have announced their new partnership that will expand Aerie’s #AerieREAL campaign to include models with intellectual disabilities!
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Two representatives show a group of individuals instructions in a gymnasium.
If you thought 586,000 square miles—the land surface of Alaska—could slow down Darci Owens, you were wrong.
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Women in football/soccer jerseys run after a football on a green pitch.
Suzanne van den Einden-Brok from The Netherlands is both a Special Olympics Athlete Leader and a dedicated footballer. Now she’s combining her talents on a mission open up the beautiful game to ALL women and girls!
2 Min Read