About the Cause
What We Do
Special Olympics transforms lives through the joy of sport, every day, everywhere. We are the world’s largest sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities: with more than 4.9 million athletes in 172 countries — and over a million volunteers.
Through the power of sports, people with intellectual disabilities discover new strengths and abilities, skills and success. Our athletes find joy, confidence and fulfillment — on the playing field and in life. They also inspire people in their communities and elsewhere to open their hearts to a wider world of human talents and potential.
Special Olympics is the leading voice in raising awareness about the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities.
Through sports, we showcase the skills and dignity of our athletes. We also bring together communities to see and take part in the transformative power of sports. We know the odds our athletes must overcome and the barriers they face every single day. We see this at training events and competitions as our athletes push to beat their personal bests — and exceed them. Their stories and successes inspire us all.
We believe in a world where there are millions of different abilities but not disabilities. And we’re spreading this message everywhere – at big Special Olympics events and small ones.
Since Day 1, Special Olympics has been based on the premise that lasting change must start with young people. Every day, we are working together to inspire long-term transformations in the actions and attitudes of the next generation, with the goal of creating a more inclusive world than ever before. Through sports and leadership activities, Special Olympics provides opportunities for young people of all abilities to be leaders in their schools and communities. These leadership activities help students with and without intellectual disabilities find their voices by teaching them to become change agents, striving for respect and inclusion. And sports helps everyone get fitter and healthier — together!