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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 results by sport and team for major Special Olympics competitions.
Explore how Special Olympics is creating a more inclusive, welcoming world for all.
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Make a Difference
I help out with these kids and they are not different, they are awesome people.
She SEES Jonathan! Other kids look through him, or see him as having little to give!
One day in school a small group of boys were making fun of her and calling her names. They made her cry and it made me really angry.
We need to show love, respect and understanding to all people we meet. People who use this hateful word are often small minded.
Inge De Rouck
Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools
This year, Butler High student Jeffrey Sanchez will be participating in the Special Olympics North Carolina for the first time.
I want people to be treated with respect. So what if you have a disability, you're still smart no matter what.
Not everyone is the same. Everyone has their own abilities where not all are the same. God didn't make things the same for a reason.
I have always hated the r word, as some of those with that "label" are some of the smartest people I know. They figure out quickly how to play life's games.
I want to say thank you to everyone that knows that people with obstacles in their lives are just the same as everyone else. And in fact in my eyes they're better.
When I was a kid I used the r-word frequently even picking on kids that were different....that is until I met Tony.
I lived in Lucasville, Ohio when I was a baby to 7 years old. My mom had a really hard time keeping me inside and out of the woods as soon as I started walking.
Danielle Allentuck (Intern for Special Olympics Maryland)
Hi my name is Emmanuel and I have a learning disability. Specifically I have trouble of process information, so I tend to learn at my own rate.
For the second year in a row our Project Unify group has attended Hoopfest on MSU's campus.
Our Youth Activation Committee just hosted Respect Week.
By Martha Jo Braycich
As a teenager, my stepmother did not like me for being disabled. Sometimes I would do things incorrectly or slower because of my disabilities.
When I was in high school I was made fun of daily. Sometimes I was even shoved into lockers by my peers for no reason.
The R word...A lot of people don’t think before they speak, they just say whatever they are thinking. Which honestly a lot of the times is mean and hurtful things.
This is the first year my school has done this, so it's amazing to see what we have accomplished
My brother had a genetic disease called progeria, and he had a big head. He was very pale. He no like when people call him r-word.
Hopefully, in my lifetime, the word will end and my children and grandchildren will not even know the word existed.
The derogatory use of the “R” word is too common. By using it as a replacement for words like idiotic or stupid, whether intentionally
Katie McGinty Botha
We were kindred spirits right from the start. She was 2 years older, but from the beginning we were buddies.
This is something I take seriously. Working with kids with intellectual disabilities has opened my eyes more and more to how words can hurt.
A couple of summers ago I worked with several mentally disabled people. It was difficult at first, but in time I learned to love them.
It really enraged me when I was told that most of the other students barely acknowledge the kids in this class. I have heard many kids pass by me and the kids and call me the r-word.
When I was a kid, I was kind of weird. I didn't have a lot of friends, and that was okay. I'd be on the playground, and maybe one or two people would play with me.
I have worked with people with special needs for years now and every single one of them have changed my life. They are the happiest, most inspirational people I have ever met.