Meet the Athletes
To be eligible for Special Olympics, participants must have an intellectual disability; organizations, that meet the needs of two separate communities of athletes. Active Start and FUNdamentals are innovative play programs for children with. SOND serves athletes, partners, coaches and families through 11 Area Programs and Special Olympics offers children and adults with intellectual disabilities then reach out to the highest leaders in government, health care, education, the. Our athletes are children and adults with intellectual disabilities from all around The goal of Special Olympics is to reach out to the nearly million people in.
Our athletes are children and adults with intellectual disabilities from all around the world.
They are finding success, joy and friendship as part of our global community. They're also having lots of fun! Who Are Our Athletes?
Special Olympics is for people who are different because they learn new skills slowly. They are different in other ways as well. They have an intellectual disability, or ID. Intellectual disabilities happen in all cultures, races and countries. The goal of Special Olympics is to reach out to the nearly million people in the world with ID.
Our 5 million Special Olympics athletes—ages 8 years old and up—come from more than countries. We also have a Young Athletes program for children ages 2 to 7. At any age and in every country, our athletes are learning new skills, making new friends and gaining in fitness and confidence. We offer plus Olympic-style winter and summer sports.
So whatever your age or skill level, Special Olympics has something for you. Many athletes start in one sport, then go on to try others. Through sports, our athletes are seeing themselves for their abilities, not disabilities.
Their world is opened with acceptance and understanding. They become confident and empowered by their accomplishments. They are also making new friends, as part of the most inclusive community on the planet—a global community that is growing every day.
Become a Special Olympics Athlete
Abdel-Raman Hassan is an athlete whose life changed after he joined Special Olympics. He's a swimmer with ID from Saudi Arabia. He is also partially paralyzed. This gives him the acceptance he deserves.
Team Australia 2019
I compete in basketball, swimming, Alpine skiing, horseback riding and cycling. I love Special Olympics because I get to meet other people with other disabilities and become their friends, and I have fun in the sports that I play with my new friends.
I am truly a leader in my community now and I am very proud of that! His mother, Peggy, says: He thrives on the competitions and loves the attention he gets from the fans, coaches and volunteers. More impressive is the dedication, determination, enthusiasm, teamwork and cooperation he has learned from his Special Olympics experiences.
It is difficult to believe that before Special Olympics, Jacque was reclusive and too frightened to make eye contact. Jacque's coach and friend Mary Jane says, "It's just amazing that Special Olympics has given her this opportunity to flourish.Spotlight on Jacob: Special Olympics Athlete
With each success, her self-esteem and self-confidence increase. Now, she goes to school, works and competes in two sports.
The change is dazzling.