- How Your Gift Helps
How Your Gift Helps
Through the power and joy of sports, Special Olympics transforms lives. Since 1968, Special Olympics has been offering people with intellectual disabilities year-round training and competitions in Olympic-style sports. Our more than 32 individual and team sports – from Alpine Skiing to Volleyball – provide quality training and well-matched sporting events. Win or lose, the goal is always to be brave in the attempt!
What is the Mission of Special Olympics?
The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
In all that we do, Special Olympics strives to create a better world by fostering the acceptance and inclusion of all people.
Your Support Transforms LivesThrough the power of sports, Special Olympics helps people
with intellectual disabilities feel welcome in their communities
and develop a profound belief in themselves. This is story of Lani
"When you have a child with an intellectual disability, you
think your world is going to be closed. Special Olympics has opened
a whole new world for Lani and given her opportunities that we
never dreamed would be possible for our daughter." Ana DeMello,
mother of Special Olympics athlete Lani DeMello
Lani DeMello was born with intellectual disabilities and a heart
defect. Her doctors told her mother Ana, "Take her home. She's
never going to achieve anything." Flash forward 25 years and Lani
is a Special Olympics gold medalist and a source of inspiration to
her friends and family.
As a young girl, Lani took an interest in dance. She took classes
at a local ballet studio, yet was unable to keep up with the other
dancers. At 13, a friend recommended that she sign up to
participate in Special Olympics. There, Lani finally had the
support she needed and at her first gymnastics competition, she won
almost exclusively gold medals.
Lani continued to work hard and wants to help other athletes
succeed and build confidence. She received her coaching
certification and has been assisting the gymnastics program. She
even interned as a Technical Delegate for Rhythmic Gymnastics at
the World Summer Games.
Give the Power of Sport to One More Person
Your support of Special Olympics changes lives. Please donate to Special Olympics
and help us reach one more person like Lani DeMello who is still waiting for a chance to feel accepted, build confidence, and be a champion!