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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!

Transformative Power of Believing in one's Potential: A Coach and Athlete’s Bond

Ahmed El Farji has taken on the role of coach with Special Olympics Morocco tennis player Hajar Cherif Lamrani, guiding her with dedication and expertise.
2 Min Read

My Journey with Special Olympics – Zhichen’s Story

An athlete in Chinese Taipei shares how Special Olympics changed his life.
1 Min Read

Samantha Rodriguez: Logging Miles & Leading the Way

To many, running is a solitary sport. One person, one route, one goal. But for Samantha Rodriguez, running has always been more than that. It’s been a way to connect, form a community, and create opportunities for those around her.
3 Min Read

Cyclists Set New Guinness World Record Titles in RideLondon-Essex100

Following Lloyd Martin’s incredible achievements at last month’s TCS London Marathon, Special Olympics Surrey Cycling Club cyclists, Tom Kelsall and Hannah Kemp, have set new Guinness World Records titles by completing the Ford RideLondon-Essex100.
1 Min Read

Special Olympics Jordan Athlete Leader Abdullah’s Mission of Inclusion

Abdullah Al Nahas was born in December 2000, and he impacted many lives with his warmth and friendliness, leaving an extraordinary mark on all those around him.
2 Min Read

Special Olympics at UEFA EURO 2024: Excitement builds for athlete-volunteers in Hamburg!

Today, we catch up with a trio of volunteers: Emilio Jungclaus Miranda, Menja Radke and Steffi Rückner—two athletes and a coach from Special Olympics Hamburg.
1 Min Read

Special Olympics at UEFA EURO 2024: Athletes from Hessen Countdown to Kick Off!

Special Olympics athletes across Germany are in training to volunteer at UEFA EURO 2024 through a groundbreaking tandem volunteering programme inspired by the inclusivity of Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023.
1 Min Read

Thor and Joakim: One Coach, One Player, 25 Years

Swedish coach and player pair, Thor Guttormsen and Joakim Andersson, have undergone a long journey from new acquaintances to close friends, collecting accolades along the way and even attracting the attention of Zlatan Ibrahimovic!
3 Min Read

Julio

Meet Julio, a Special Olympics Athlete Leader who works for Panama's Copa Airlines.

Special Olympics Triathletes Battle It Out at Challenge Family Triathlon

Triathlon Paves the Way for Inclusive Sport at the 3rd Annual Special Olympics European Open Triathlon
2 Min Read

“The news came as a complete surprise!”

As Gilmour Borg and his fellow nine new Sargent Shriver Global Messengers take part in a week of training in Washington D.C., we take the opportunity to get to know Gilmour a little better with a one-to-one interview.
4 Min Read

“I couldn’t believe that I had been selected!”

This week, Margaret Turley and the nine other new Sargent Shriver Global Messengers (SSGMs) from the 2024 to 2027 cohort are embarking on an intensive week of training in Washington DC. Just before Margaret flew out, we took the opportunity to get to know her a little better with a one-to-one interview.
3 Min Read