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Special Olympics is a global organization that serves athletes with intellectual disabilities working with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches each year. Since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968, the number of people with and without intellectual disabilities who are involved with the organization has been growing, but the unmet need to reach more people with intellectual disabilities is staggering. 

The Power of Sport. For every Special Olympics athlete, there are many more waiting for their chance. Help us reach one more person who wants to participate. Download Program Fact Sheet

It’s at the local level--right here--where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place. Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.

Sports Offered


News and Stories


May 08, 2017 | North America: Louisiana

She will always see the world in a better light than the world will ever see her

By Ashley Kellett

That Smile :) Peyton Joy!

My daughter Peyton has Down syndrome. Peyton is my hero! Her diagnosis does not define her.View Story My name is Ashley Kellett and my daughter Peyton has Down Syndrome. Peyton is 3 years old and has been such a fighter in her first 3 years of life. Although I have 2 other special needs children I never imagined the effects of this word on this level. I myself am guilty of using this word before Peyton was born not out of trying to make fun of anyone but out of pure ignorance. After Peyton was born it was my moment to realize that every time that word was used it was in reference to how the world views my child. I have been realizing in this journey however that Peyton has such a special gift that most will never have and that is seeing the world in a better light than they will see her. She loves in a way the world is not capable of loving and frankly neither am I . I admire my beautiful daughter Peyton Joy Kellett. I have become a huge advocate for stopping the use but more importantly educating people on the "Why not"use it. Peyton is my hero! Her diagnosis does not define her.

About Ashley Kellett:I am Ashley, mother of 6 and 3 special needs children. I am a registered nurse but most importantly I am an ADVOCATE! I advocate for my amazing children and patients every day!
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May 02, 2017 | North America: Louisiana

Darrell Miller: May Athlete Spotlight in Louisiana

By Casey Minton

Miller competes in track and field, basketball, and bowling and has been an employee at the training center for the Arc of Rapides for 32 years.View Story Special Olympics Louisiana (SOLA) selected athlete Darrell Miller as the featured Athlete Spotlight for the month of May. Miller resides in Alexandria, LA in Rapides Parish. He is 54 and has been a Special Olympics athlete for 32 years. Miller competes in track and field, basketball, and bowling. Miller has been an employee at the training center for the Arc of Rapides for 32 years. He has memorized every bus route in the city of Alexandria by heart. Miller loves playing Bingo, going shopping at the mall and housekeeping. Miller’s favorite memory at SOLA was competing at the Lakeside School track and field meet in 1981. He won gold medals in the 50 yard dash and the standing long jump! Miller loves competing. He strives every competition to win more gold medals. Miller dedicates all of the help and support to his coaches, Mr. Bill, Mrs. Gwen and Mrs. Caroline.

About Casey Minton:Director of Communications and Marketing
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March 01, 2017 | North America: Louisiana

Justin Bonvillain is March Athlete for Louisiana

By Casey Minton

Justin Bonvillain of Houma, LA has been selected for Special Olympics Louisiana's March Athlete Spotlight.View Story Justin Bonvillain of Houma, LA has been selected for Special Olympics Louisiana's March Athlete Spotlight. Justin is 21 years old and participates in soccer, softball, and bowling. He has been involved with Special Olympics for 1 year. Justin is currently employed at Chic-fil-a and has worked there for over 6 months. His favorite part of the job is dressing as the calf mascot. He is very unique and outgoing. He loves to entertain others and he does great character impressions. Justin loves to make people laugh. However, before joining Special Olympics, Justin says he was very quiet and shy. His dream is to one day work at Walt Disney World.

About Casey Minton:Director of Communications & Marketing for Special Olympics Louisiana
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2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games

Athens, Greece, was the home of the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games. That year, it was the world’s largest sporting event for athletes with intellectual disabilities. See results by athlete, delegation and bib number.

Areas Served

The parishes of Acadia, Allen, Ascension, Assumption, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Calcasieu, Caldwell, Cameron, Catahoula, Claiborne, Concordia, De Soto, East Baton Rouge, East Carroll, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Franklin, Grant, Iberia, Iberville, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Jefferson, La Salle, Lafayette, Lafourche, Lincoln, Livingston, Madison, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Orleans, Ouachita, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, Rapides, Red River, Richland, Sabine, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Tensas, Terrebonne, Union, Vermilion, Vernon, Washington, Webster, West Baton Rouge, West Carroll, West Feliciana, Winn