Empowering Athletes through Sport
Confidence, skill and determination are common benefits of involvement with sports. Sometimes, athletes can even get a little boastful – like former Special Olympics athlete: “You might be able to out-read me, but I can out-run you!”
For people with intellectual disabilities, Special Olympics is often the only place where they have an opportunity to participate in their communities and develop belief in themselves. Many live lives of neglect and isolation, hidden away or socially excluded from full participation in schools or society. For athletes, Special Olympics sports provide a gateway to empowerment, competence, acceptance and joy.
Unified on the Playing Field
Special Olympics Unified Sports is a unique sporting experience that unites people with and without intellectual disability on the playing field. Competing side by side leads to great understanding and acceptance by peers without disabilities, but also improved social skills and confidence for the athletes with intellectual disabilities – not to mention long-lasting friendships that extend into the classroom and the community.