Through the power of sports, people with intellectual disabilities discover new strengths and abilities, skills and success. Our athletes find joy, confidence and fulfillment -- on the playing field and in life. They also inspire people in their communities and elsewhere to open their hearts to a wider world of human talents and potential. Here's a slideshow showing the full spectrum of our activities. SEE IT ››
Real Sports Experience
For more than 43 years, Special Olympics has been spreading the message: people with intellectual disabilities can – and will – succeed when given the chance.
With training and competitions in 32 Olympic-style sports, our athletes push hard and play harder. They strive to beat their personal bests, defying the odds again and again. From the local ballfields to the shining stage of the World Games, from swimming to snowboarding, our athletes showcase the talents and triumphs of people with intellectual disabilities. Learn More About Our Sports ››
“At every small event, at every big event, our athletes are striking out at injustice and challenging intolerance. ”Tim Shriver, Special Olympics Chairman and CEO
Special Olympics works to spread compassion and acceptance in a way that can unite the world. Our goal is to awaken everyone -- and every community -- to each person’s common humanity. This vision of inclusion starts at the local level. It is expanding on a global scale.
There are up to 200 million people with intellectual disabilities around the world. We want to reach out to every one of them – and their families and communities as well. Read Stories About Our Impact ››
Special Olympics is the leading voice in raising awareness about the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities.
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 leads the world in researching the concerns of people with intellectual disabilities and how others perceive them. We use the research to influence policy and bring services to those in need. Special Olympics’ research is a powerful force for social and policy change around the globe. Read Stories About Our Impact ››
Special Olympics is also the world's largest public health organization for people with intellectual disabilities. Many of our athletes come to us with neglected health problems. At World Games and other events, we offer a wide range of free health screenings and care.
Our goal is to bring better fitness, nutrition and healthier lifestyles to everyone involved in Special Olympics -- from athletes and their families, to coaches and volunteers. Learn More ››