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 4.5 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.
A gift of $35 can help train an athlete for an entire season. Help us reach one more person.
Provide dependable funding for our year-round programs.
Celebrate a friend or pay tribute in memory of a loved one with a donation to Special Olympics in their name.
Your fundraising campaign will help us transform more lives through the joy of sports.
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Make a Difference
I am a student in high school, and for the past three months I have been working on a short documentary on a very important cause to me.
I am 16 years old and I have an older sister with Down syndrome. If you don't know what Down syndrome is, it's OK, it's an extra chromosome.
When I was growing up almost every school grade I was in I was called the R word. It hurt my feelings a lot.
Special Olympics has helped me give back to the community and help out with people with disabilities.
By Amie Dugan
I'm a senior in high school and have volunteered with the special needs community since about 7th grade. It's hard being an advocate for this cause as a teen because there is of course judgement and the "why do you care?" question.
I was on a Skype group chat, I was asking who was who and they told me and one person called me stupid but the other called me retarded for not knowing who he was.
I have volunteered with people with special needs at my school for 3 years. I have not only grown to Learn about disabilities I have learned how to befriend people with disabilities. When I hear people use the R word it hurts.
This was my first year volunteering at the Special Olympics in Columbus, Ohio for the Summer Games I will say that that was my first of many years to come.
There was one conference that we hosted that changed my life completely. That conference was Special Olympics. Every time I talk about this I just get so excited because it was such an empowering experience.
One week we were doing this, at the square he let my hand go, balanced himself and put his foot on the ball. He looked up at me with the biggest grin!
I would recommend everyone to volunteer at any Special Olympics wherever is closer to you. It will open up your eyes, and you will realize how much people with disabilities are the same as us.
Douglas & Jannie Kenyon
I work at an ARC home and started a small basketball game for a few of the houses before I found out about special olympics in our area. I got a few of the guys from my house interested and one of the women just went to watch.
I work at an all special education school called Heartwood. I am going to school to teach special education. It has been about two years since I have used the r word.