Real Sports Experience

Sports is a powerful force. It can shift the focus from disability to ability, from isolation to involvement. We offer the highest quality Olympic-style sports training and competition for people with intellectual disabilities all around the world. This changes attitudes and changes lives.

The Governor-General of Australia poses with a Special Olympics torch, surrounded by smiling supporters of Special Olympics

A First for Australia. December 2013 will see the kickoff of the first Asia Pacific Regional Games, and Australia will be the host.LEARN MORE

The Power of Sport, Worldwide

The transformative power of sports to instill confidence, improve health and inspire a sense of competition is at the core of what Special Olympics does. From the detailed coaching guides we provide in many languages to the sharp-eyed officials at our international games, the focus is on real sports, real competition, real achievements.

The newest arena for our athletes will be in Australia, where the first-ever Asia Pacific Regional Games will be held in December 2013. (See press release)

"“I hope the Games will build a platform of awareness and support for people with an intellectual disability and I urge all Australians to support athletes along their journey to the Games and beyond,” said Her Excellency, Ms Quentin Bryce AC CVO, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia.

A smiling young athlete with a shining new gold medal raises her arms in triumph

Feeling the Power. A smiling young athlete with a shiny new medal raises her arms in triumph.

Standing Tall

In Special Olympics, the power and joy of sport, shifts focus to what our athletes CAN do, not what they can't.

Attention to disabilities fades away. Instead, we see our athletes' talents and abilities -- and applaud them for all that they can do. And they are doing a lot -- from gymnastics to soccer to open-water swimming. With more than 32 Olympic-style sports, we offer adults and children with intellectual disabilities many ways to be involved in their communities, many ways to show who they really are. 

For more than 43 years, Special Olympics has been spreading the message: people with intellectual disabilities can – and will – succeed when given the opportunity. And it all happens through the simple power of sport.

The Power of Sports

At Special Olympics, we believe that sports can teach us all important lessons. When we train and strive for a goal, it teaches us to dream. When we struggle, it teaches us determination. When we win, we find joy. And if we lose, we can find the strength to try again.

Our sports events bring together a large and inclusive community of athletes, supporters and families, coaches, volunteers and many others. The athletes are at the center of it all. They become the heroes -- to the shared joy of themselves, their families and their communities.

These events help us all rediscover the purity of sports -- and real athletic pursuits -- based on true Olympic ideals. 

Best in Sport

Special Olympics trainings and competitions are empowering because our athletes prove to themselves all they can do. This inspires them to achieve even more, both in sports and in life. But it’s more than that.

At each Special Olympics event, all of us can see and experience the purity of sports and real athletic success. Our athletes are pushing hard for goals some people can't imagine, against obstacles few have had to face. Their drive to succeed comes from deep inside -- it comes from the heart. What happens can be truly magical.

At the last World Games, a veteran sports reporter thought he’d already seen all the great modern sports figures in action. He changed his mind when he saw Ederson Idrogo on the track. The 23-year-old from Special Olympics Peru was struggling to put one foot in front of the other. He was soaking in sweat under the hot Athens sun during the men's 100-meter walk. Yet he did not give up. Ederson's sheer will and determination brought everyone in the stadium to their feet, their hands clapping together to cheer him on. He did not stop until he reached the finish line; only then did he collapse and catch his breath -- and smile.

The sports reporter says this was a moment he'll never forget. He said that if "greatness" can be seen as overcoming obstacles with determination and heart, then there was a whole lot of greatness at the World Summer Games. In fact, he called the Special Olympics competitions nothing less than sport "in its purest form."

Ederson Idrogo’s run was just one of many moments of greatness among Special Olympics athletes that day. There are many such moments in the making at Special Olympics events any day of the week, all over the world. Come see for yourself.

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Special Olympics Blog

Health Needs Need Closer Examination

"You can't compete if your feet hurt, if your teeth hurt or if your ears ache."read more »

Posted on 2014-04-07 by Ryan

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