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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!

Konrad Debniak’s Story Of Resilience

The Special Olympics Poland athlete finds confidence, equality, and purpose through sports.
3 Min Read

From Spins To Dribbles, Gorjan Stojkovski Never Stops Learning New Basketball Tricks

The North Macedonian player was the life and soul of his team at the 2023 Regional West Balkans Basketball 3x3 Tournament in Tirana, Albania - and he still has energy for much more.
2 Min Read

Athlete Leader James Steps Up to Run First London Marathon

Special Olympics Derbyshire athlete, coach and Athlete Leadership Team member James Wyatt is stepping out in search of another huge challenge by tackling the TCS London Marathon.
3 Min Read

“I consider myself an advocate for the rights of people with disabilities”: An interview with Pablo Composto, Sargent Shriver Global Messenger

For World Autism Awareness Day, we highlight the stories and efforts of our athletes for the promotion and advocacy of the full recognition of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD), including autism spectrum disorder.
5 Min Read

Lloyd Martin striving to make history at TCS London Marathon

Nineteen-year-old Special Olympics Great Britain (GB) athlete Lloyd Martin is bidding to become the youngest known person with Down Syndrome to complete the TCS London Marathon.
3 Min Read

Embrace differences. Celebrate uniqueness. Happy World Down Syndrome Day!

Did you know individuals with Down syndrome possess unique talents and abilities?

Andi Qorrolli is basketball’s most relaxed player: ‘I am a master of patience’

The Special Olympics Kosovo athlete cruises through sports tournaments, solves crossword puzzles in a foreign language and aspires to work abroad.
2 Min Read

Always Time For Training - And Gold - in Vesna Mišić’s Multi-Sport Universe

The Bosnia and Herzegovina athlete is a Special Olympics World Games champion in futsal and a regional champion in basketball. And that is only the beginning.
2 Min Read

Special Olympics Nebraska Athlete Takes on Capitol Hill Ahead of Sargent Shriver Global Messenger Term

Throughout Washington D.C., Special Olympics athletes, Unified partners, and staff from 47 states and the District of Columbia are meeting with members of Congress to advocate for the continuance of funding for the movement’s life-changing work in education and health.
5 Min Read

Sana's Story

Where there is light, there is hope.Let some light into your life and watch Sana's journey from being chained up and excluded in her village in Pakistan to competing at the Special Olympics Berlin World Games 2023.

From Adversity To Triumph – An Inspiring Journey

“These kids we label ‘special’, are truly born to do special things in their lives!”
3 Min Read

‘Don’t be frightened and go for every shot!’

Competing against the best players in the world on one of the most iconic tennis courts was a major highlight for a group of Special Olympics tennis players selected to compete at the Players with Intellectual Impairments Championship at the recent Australian Open.
2 Min Read