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!
Aquiles at poolside after his silver-medal winning swim in the 25m breaststroke
After a technical disqualification over the weekend, Aquiles Heredia rallied with a stellar effort in the breaststroke today—earning his first big win of the games, a silver medal!
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Saleh Al Marri in his lane, bowling as spectators watch in the background.
Saleh Al Marri set a high goal for himself—and reached it.
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Abhishek Gogoi from Special Olympics India in a bike rac
It was a weekend of adjustment for cyclists from Bharat, as they got accustomed to the Yas Marina track in Abu Dhabi. They were surprised by the uphill/downhill raceway.
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Jimmy blows a red whistle while officiating a floor hockey game at the 2017 World Winter Games in Austria.
Jimmy Masina is an athlete leader from South Africa and works as an Office Assistant for Special Olympics Africa.
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Seven athletes from all different countries on the track running.
Khadija Sy has made a fast start in her first race of the 2019 World Games.
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Kiera Byland smiling with her hands held together and in front of her mouth.
British cycling star Kiera Byland won a gold medal for Team Great Britain in her opening race at Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 on 16 March.
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China athlete Li Xiang is awarded a gold medal for gymnastics
This time, Li Xiang taken on more gymnastics events than ever: the rings, vault, parallel bars, horizontal bar, pommel horse, plus all-around and floor exercises.
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Aquilis Heredia giving a thumbs up. Spectators are in the background.
Aquiles Heredia is so determined to swim his best, he's improved his technique beyond what even his most supportive doctors had predicted.
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Three brothers from Belgium "Smash Brother" standing side by side with their arms around one another all wearing red Special Olympics Belgium t-shirts.
Gilles Dupont loves basketball. Even more than that, he loves playing basketball with his brothers and Unified partners, Robin and Floris.
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Daniel Smrokowski and Jenny Fortner sit outside during an interview.
Athlete Leader Daniel Smrokowski Interviews New Special Olympics Board Member Jennifer Fortner.
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Loretta on stage speaking
Female Special Olympics athletes testified to the power of inclusion during a discussion at the Mohamed Bin Zayed Majlis lecture on 13 March, 2019.
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Two athletes and a coach stand in front of the stadium in Abu Dhabi.
It’s been a day of ‘firsts’ on the first full day of Athletics training in official World Games venues!
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