We are a global organization with programs in 170 countries. This site may be customized by language and geographic region.
Teens and college students are the future leaders of Special Olympics.
It's the mission of Special Olympics to show the world the capabilities of people with intellectual disabilities.
We have over 4.7 million athletes of all ages with intellectual disabilities around the world.
Our celebrity supporters are Olympians, professional athletes, social leaders, and movie and music stars.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver was a pioneer in the struggle for the rights of people with intellectual disabilities.
Direction for our movement comes from leaders in government, entertainment, sports and business.
All adults and children with intellectual disabilities can become Special Olympics athletes. Here's how.
Get involved with Special Olympics in your neighborhood. Find the program nearest you.
Get involved with our Unified Sports, a quick path to friendship and fun.
Special Olympics has events and competitions happening in places all around the world. View our events.
Get results by sport and team for major Special Olympics competitions.
Explore how Special Olympics is creating a more inclusive, welcoming world for all.
Your gift of $35 will help train an athlete for an entire season. Give today!
Discover the many ways you can support Special Olympics through your estate plans.
Make a donation and send a card in celebration or honor of a loved one.
Your efforts will help transform more lives through the joy of sports. Get started today!
Donate with confidence on our secure server.
Newsletter: Sign up and get inspiring stories!
Make a Difference
Some people love to use the R-word to offend people like us with a disability. It's ignorant people like them who make me sick. Abrasive, abrupt, curt and discourteous people who love to belittle. It's a horribile world we live in.
My two daughters go to a special development school. They love their school. My only sadness is my son calls them the r-word all the time.
It's a term used to belittle and an oppressive term that inpacts on all people with a disability and seeing people as less than non-disabled people.
I've had an intellectual disability all my life and people call me retarded. It's a very offensive word and a form of hate speech
I'm a bi dude. While I was figuring out my sexuality, the derogatory use of the word 'gay' really got to me. I think that was when I truly started to understand why we need to stop using the 'r' word.
House with No Steps
By Karyn Tan
ESPN’s Australia / New Zealand station featured Special Olympics Australia athletes on its program ‘Road to LA’ prior to the 2015 World Summer Games.
While growing up in Australia the first thing I learnt was that people are incredibly uneducated when it comes to people with special needs. And horribly to this day my closest friends still cannot comprehend fully what it is like to live with someone who requires unique care.
i have two cousins with Down syndrome aged 16 and 12. They regularly hear "p*** off retard" at school from other students. They say it doesn't hurt them but it does, so we spoke to their parents to stop the bullying yesterday.
Raymond Tanner (Andrew's father)
I joined up with Special Olympics Victoria in 1999 at the recommendation of another athlete and I am so glad I did, I love swimming and I never thought that I could do swimming as a sport, but being part of this unique program has been amazing.
My little sister has Rett syndrome which makes me a lot more sensitive to some language than other. Lately I have been asking a boy in my class to stop saying the R word.
Whilst in primary school i got to work very closely with a special development school next door to my school and if it wasn't for the students there i wouldnt of realised that life is always about fun and caring.
I have realized over my time that no matter how sick someone is or what challenges they face, we are equal, we fight our battles with smiles on our face and look at life as a blessing. No one should ever have to be subjected to the r-word.
My sister has Down syndrome. When she was born 37 years ago things were different and Mum was advised by doctors to put her in an institution and forget about her.
On the 5th of December 2013 at the Asia Pacific games in Newcastle Australia took on the Philippines.It was a cracking game of football between 2 talented and committed teams.
It is easy to set an example for your extended family or social networks; at your school, college or workplace; when doing business with shops or services. Just use words of description not words of judgement.
For me my life changing experience was the Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games in Newcastle, and being a part of a group of volunteers who were passionate about being involved in this event.
We have an 8 yr old grandson that has disabilities & to hear the R word is very hurtful, not just for him, but for our daughter & her family & all others affected.
My son is 33 years. We don't like the r-word. We hear it too often, and it does hurt.
Tanya and Noel Northcott
Alexandra Dickinson, Isabelle Ryder and Chloe William
As reported in Newcastle's Herald, Australia opened their medal tally at the inaugural Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games with two gold, two silver and two bronze medals.
Gail de Raadt
My first memory in Special Olympics is when I won my first gold medals for 50 meters freestyle in the national games in Tasmania in 1986.
Alex McNeilly, General Manager - Special Olympics Australia