Search

USA: Nebraska

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.   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

  • Alpine Skiing
  • Aquatics
  • Athletics
  • Basketball
  • Bocce
  • Bowling
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • Equestrian
  • Flag Football
  • Floor Hockey
  • Football (Soccer)
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics (Artistic)
  • Powerlifting
  • Roller Skating
  • Snow Shoeing
  • Softball
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball

News and Stories


November 06, 2017 | North America: Nebraska

Family and the "R-Word"

By Eliza Crotty

People in my family have different types of disabilities and have been called the "r-word" a lot. One time my cousin, who has autism, was called the "r-word" once and he came home in tears. It hurt me really badly to know that because someone learns differently than someone else, they would be called that bad name.View Story People in my family have different types of disabilities and have been called the "r-word" a lot. One time my cousin, who has autism, was called the "r-word"and he came home in tears. It hurt me really badly to know that because someone learns differently than someone else, they would be called that bad name.

About Eliza Crotty:
Share
View less ▲

November 06, 2017 | North America: Nebraska

Tootsie Rolls for the R-word

By Wade Ryan

Some years ago my Parish Knights of Columbus had their annual Tootsie Roll sale.View Story Some years ago my Parish Knights of Columbus had their annual Tootsie Roll sale. The signs on the aprons the men wore said "Support the Mentally Retarded".It was a good cause, but because of my experience with people who are differently-abled, I was aghast at the verbiage used. So I joined the Knights for exactly one month. It was at the first meeting I attended, that I brought the situation up. Strongly encouraging them to bring their terminology up to date in respect for the beautiful people who are not defined by the R-word.They jumped at the opportunity immediately and even notified other Parishes.For a while I was the coordinator of the altar servers, and a fellow who was intellectually disabled asked to join up. I had absolutely no problem with it spoke with our pastor and he had no problem with it. There were a few murmurs, and those were immediately silenced with a look, and then a follow-up conversation.This fellow was one of the most incredible altar servers we ever had!

About Wade Ryan:The R-word needs to be dropped from human language all together.
Share
View less ▲

March 12, 2017 | North America: Nebraska

An Athlete Leader and An Athlete Health Leader

By Jason Gieschen

“Special Olympics has helped me overcome my biggest challenge of being told that I cannot do anything and that I cannot be independent. You can achieve anything you set your mind to. Don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t do it! Special Olympics is changing my life,” says Jason.

As a Global Messenger and leader, I am excited to share a positive message about health to my teammates and the world.View Story As a Global Messenger and leader, I am excited to share a positive message about health to my teammates and the world. Special Olympics offers more than just sports. Special Olympics offers Healthy Athletes, which are health exams that are free to the athletes in seven different areas. Six years ago, Special Olympics-Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes discovered a cyst on my eye. I had eye surgery and it saved the sight in that eye. I got new sports glasses too. Also, Dr. Westerman, my local clinical director in Nebraska, told me I needed to get my wisdom teeth pulled. Wisdom teeth don’t make you smart—they just make your jaw hurt. Healthy Habits has helped me to eat the right foods and to drink water instead of pop. I lost 100 pounds. Playing sports has helped too!

About Jason Gieschen:Jason Gieschen, a Sargent Shriver International Global Messenger, has participated in Special Olympics since the age of 14 after being encouraged by his High School principal to attend a local bowling practice and from there on, he has been actively engaged in 11 different sports. In his role as an International Global Messenger, he discusses the role of health in his life. He will also be traveling to Austria for the 2017 World Winter Games and to Seattle, Washington, in 2018 for Special Olympics USA Games. Jason also attended the 2015 World Games in Los Angeles. In addition to his role as an International Global Messenger and Special Olympics athlete leader, Jason leads a very active life outside of sports and is able to make friends wherever he goes. He works full time at an Educational Service Unit as a Documentation coordinator and is an active public speaker when he is not at work. He is also a talented photographer with a keen eye for taking capturing landscape pictures. Jason
Share
View less ▲

Do you have a story to Share?

Tell us your story so we can publish it for others to see.



2014 USA Games

The 2014 Special Olympics USA Games ran June 14-21. See results and stories.

Sep 21 - 23 2012 SONA Softball Invitational Tournament Oklahoma City, OK
Sep 11 - 17 2012 World Aquatics Invitational 2012 San Juan, Puerto Rico
Jun 25 - Jul 4 2011 2011 Summer Games Athens, Greece

Areas Served

Adams County, Antelope County, Arthur County, Banner County, Blaine County, Boone County, Box Butte County, Boyd County, Brown County, Buffalo County, Burt County, Butler County, Cass County, Cedar County, Chase County, Cherry County, Cheyenne County, Clay County, Colfax County, Cuming County, Custer County, Dakota County, Dawes County, Dawson County, Deuel County, Dixon County, Dodge County, Douglas County, Dundy County, Fillmore County, Franklin County, Frontier County, Furnas County, Gage County, Garden County, Garfield County, Gosper County, Grant County, Greeley County, Hall County, Hamilton County, Harlan County, Hayes County, Hitchcock County, Holt County, Hooker County, Howard County, Jefferson County, Johnson County, Kearney County, Keith County, Keya Paha County, Kimball County, Knox County, Lancaster County, Lincoln County, Logan County, Loup County, Madison County, McPherson County, Merrick County, Morrill County, Nance County, Nemaha County, Nuckolls County, Otoe County, Pawnee County, Perkins County, Phelps County, Pierce County, Platte County, Polk County, Red Willow County, Richardson County, Rock County, Saline County, Sarpy County, Saunders County, Scotts Bluff County, Seward County, Sheridan County, Sherman County, Sioux County, Stanton County, Thayer County, Thomas County, Thurston County, Valley County, Washington County, Wayne County, Webster County, Wheeler County, York County