Special Olympics is raising awareness about the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities. Through sports, we showcase the skills and dignity of our athletes. At the same time, Special Olympics brings people with and without intellectual disabilities together to see and take part in the transformative power of sports.
We know the odds our athletes must overcome and the barriers they face every single day. We see this at training events and competitions as our athletes push to beat their personal bests. Their stories and successes inspire us all.
We fight negative stereotypes and misperceptions. We educate people young and old about the skills and gifts of our athletes. We provide educational experiences for coaches, volunteers and teachers to enhance their knowledge and show them how the Special Olympics experience can transcend all aspects of their lives.
Special Olympics Unified Sports, a large and growing initiative, gets people with and without ID on to teams to play football, basketball, bocce, volleyball and other team sports. Playing together is a great way to learn about one another. Numerous Unified Sports teams play in cities around the world. And once a year, the NBA invites Special Olympics athletes to take part in the NBA Cares Unified Basketball Game with stars and former players of the NBA and WNBA.
The skills shown by our players wow the pros and the audience watching. In 2015, the game was played at Madison Square Garden, a legendary basketball venue. In the photo at the top of the page, Special Olympics Florida basketball player Travis Jackson is interviewed by an ESPN reporter after an NBA Cares game in 2014. Jackson's poise off the court was a good match for his skills on the court.