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Healthy Athletes Resources

The Healthy Athletes program is dedicated to providing health services and education to Special Olympics athletes, and changing the way health systems interact with people with intellectual disabilities.


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Healthy Athletes’ influence is evident with more than 136,000 healthcare professionals trained, free health examinations provided to more than 1.6 million athletes, and 100,000 free pairs of eyeglasses given to athletes. Healthy Athletes continues to grow each year with help from a global network of volunteers, in-kind donations and other financial support. Healthy Athletes is part of Special Olympics' global health program.

For more information, contact Karl Hejlik, (khejlik@specialolympics.org), Director of Internal Communications.


Healthy Athletes News and Stories


May 19, 2017 | Europe Eurasia: Latvia

Healthy Athletes Expands to the Baltic States

By Bjoern Koehler

FunFitness TTT participants in Kuldiga, Latvia

Over the years, Special Olympics health programs have improved the health of our athletes all around the globe. In many cases, the programs have profoundly changed--or saved--their lives. In order to spread the Healthy Athletes program further to the Baltic states, six physiotherapists from Latvia aView Story Over the years, Special Olympics health programs have improved the health of our athletes all around the globe. In many cases, the programs have profoundly changed--or saved--their lives. In order to spread the Healthy Athletes program further to the Baltic states, six physiotherapists from Latvia and Estonia were trained to become Fun Fitness Clinical Directors. With the generous support of the European Union, Special Olympics Latvia hosted the first ever FunFitness TTT and screening in Latvia during the recent Special Olympics Europe Eurasia Regional Bocce Tournament in Kuldiga, Latvia. All 64 athletes who participated were screened and provided with critical education on how to improve flexibility, strength, balance and endurance to be able to perform best in their sport. Newly trained Estonian Clinical Lii Laanoja pointed out that the “education was much needed and fun. It gave us new work material we could also use in our everyday physiotherapy jobs”.

About Bjoern Koehler:Senior Manager, Special Olympics Europe Eurasia Health Programs
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May 10, 2017 | North America: New York

My Health Story

By Katy

I decided to change my eating habits. I started drinking more water. I also started eating more vegetables and fruits.View Story My name is Katy Sanchez. I am a Special Olympics New York Athlete Ambassor. A lot has happened to me in past few years. I decided to change my eating habits. I started drinking more water. I also started eating more vegetables and fruits. I go to the gym 4 to 5 days a week. Since I started training I wanted to run in a Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, and I ran 8 1/2 miles last Thursday. Also I did better times on my track meet this past Saturday. Now my goal is to lose another 10 pounds by Summer Games in June. My plan is go to Healthy Athletes during Summer Games when I have free time. Thanks to Healthy Athletes and people who have motived me to become more healthy.

About Katy :My name is Katy Sanchez. I am a Special Olympics New York Athlete. The sports I do play are golf, soccer, floor hockey, basketball, track and field, cycling and triathlon.
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May 02, 2017 | North America: North Carolina

Rebekah Tucker: April Athlete of the Month for North Carolina

By Katie McGhee

Rebekah Tucker poses in her seersucker pants

While Rebekah Tucker celebrated her 18th birthday at the beginning of April, she took a moment to reflect on her five years as a Special Olympics Alleghany County athlete.View Story While Rebekah Tucker celebrated her 18th birthday at the beginning of April, she took a moment to reflect on her five years as a Special Olympics Alleghany County athlete. Being homeschooled her whole life, Special Olympics helped Tucker make many new friends that have helped her come out of her shell. Tucker has great memories of playing her favorite sports, basketball bowling and athletics, and taking trips with her team and coaches. But a lasting impact that she didn’t see coming all started with a pair of pants. As Tucker’s mother Linda was shopping at a local store, she spotted a pair of seersucker pants that she thought would be perfect for her daughter. But when Linda brought home the new pair of pants for Tucker, they were both disappointed to find that they did not fit. The seersucker pants were put into a back closet and soon forgotten. But a visit to a Healthy Athletes fitness exam made her and her mother realize that changes needed to made. They decided to get more serious about their eating and exercise habits.

About Katie McGhee:I am the Manager of Communications for Special Olympics North Carolina.
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Healthy Athletes Events


Date

Event

Location

Jul 10 - 12 2017

Special Olympics Nordrhein-Westfalen Regional Games 2017

From the 10-12 July 2017, the Special Olympics Nordrhein-Westfalen Regional Games will be hosted in Neuss near the river Rhine. About 1000 athletes are expected to compete in 12 different of sports (athletics, badminton, basketball, bocce, equestrian, football, golf, judo, roller skating, swimming, and table tennis). There will also be a big opening ceremony, 4 healthy athletes disciplines (Fit Feet, Health Promotion, Fun Fitness and Strong Minds) and MATP. It will be lots of fun! So, if you are nearby, come around and enjoy the games with us!
For more information
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