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Community Impact

Seeing Through on Dr. Phil Irion's Vision


Every athlete wants to be at their peak performance. However, an athlete can't perform their best when they can't see that ball on the field. The Healthy Athletes® Village at the Special Olympics Michigan State Summer Games aim to help athletes achieve the goal of performing their best.

Dr. Phil Irion first came to Special Olympics Michigan after seeing the Healthy Athletes program at the 1999 Special Olympics World Games. Here, Dr. Phil saw hundreds of athletes from around the globe receive eye testing and glasses. For some athletes, this was the first vision care they had ever received. Irion wanted to implement the program in Michigan so athletes could continue to perform their best.

Although the idea sounded wonderful, the lacked funding for the program and volunteers was halting any progress. Dr. Phil assured the staff at Special Olympics Michigan that would all be taken care of. Fast forward 17 years later, and the Healthy Athlete Program has become a staple fold for Special Olympics Michigan and its six state events.

Read more about Dr. Phil