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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


December 02, 2016 | SOI General: Headquarters

Golisano Foundation Included in Forbes’ List of Top Philanthropists

By Stephanie Corkett

Special Olympics Health global partner, The Golisano Foundation, was included in a Forbes’ article listing philanthropists trying to achieve social change in the world. The Golisano Foundation has generously gifted Special Olympics over $25 million USD to grow Special Olympics Health work, includingView Story Special Olympics Health global partner, The Golisano Foundation, was included in a Forbes’ article listing philanthropists trying to achieve social change in the world. The Golisano Foundation has generously gifted Special Olympics over $25 million USD to grow Special Olympics Health work, including expanding the Healthy Communities model to 100 Special Olympics Programs by 2020. With this generous support from the Golisano Foundation, Special Olympics will continue its work by leveraging Special Olympics programming and stakeholders to break down barriers, improve access to health care and make health inclusive for all people with intellectual disabilities. Read the full article for a full list of all philanthropists.

About Stephanie Corkett:I am the Manager of External Health Communications
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December 02, 2016 | Africa: Burkina Faso

Winning Special Smiles On Display at Burkina Faso Games

By Pauline Sone

Special Smiles screenings took place at the Special Olympics Burkina Faso Western Zone Regional Games at the General Sangoulé Lamizana Stadium in Bobo-Dioulasso, provided by clinical volunteers from the ERAS Dental Clinic of Ouagadougou.

Athletes’ smiles shone on the playing field and at Special Smiles® and Health Promotion® screenings.View Story At this year’s Special Olympics Burkina Faso Western Zone Regional Games, athletes’ smiles shone on the playing field and at Special Smiles® and Health Promotion® screenings. More than 150 athletes from the Bobo-Dioulasso, Dedougou, Nouna, Toussiana, Banfora and Orodara sub-programs completed screenings. A special thanks goes to the clinical volunteers for the event from the Souro Sanou University Hospital Center of Bobo-Dioulasso, and the ERAS Dental Clinic of Ouagadougou. Athletes who completed the screenings received kits including fruit, soap, toothbrushes, tooth paste and pharmaceutical products to encourage maintenance of their Special Smiles. Special Olympics Healthy Athletes® program, made possible by the Golisano Foundation, offers health services and information to athletes in dire need, working with global partners and governments to ensure health opportunities reach people with ID.

About Pauline Sone:I work with Special Olympics Burkina Faso Healthy Athletes program.
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November 10, 2016 | Africa: Senegal

Opening Eyes® Provides Free Glasses to Children Across 3 Cities in Senegal

By By Rajah Diouri Sy

"Bravo Special Olympics!" Free vision and eye screenings were held for 118 children and adolescents from Dakar, Kaolack and Thies at Le Dantec University Hospital Opthamology Clinic in Dakar.

Free vision and eye screenings were held for 118 children and adolescents from Dakar, Kaolack and Thies.View Story Free vision and eye screenings were held for 118 children and adolescents from Dakar, Kaolack and Thies at Le Dantec University Hospital Opthamology Clinic in Dakar, Senegal. Corrective glasses and sunglasses were given on site by our generous partners, Essilor. Yeumbeul Club and the Senegal Childhood Action Centre members joined in this massive effort, and a big thanks goes to Professor Paule Aïda Ndoye Roth and his team of medical professional volunteers for making the clinic premises at the hospital available to our athletes. The Special Olympics-Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes program is a vision and eye health screening in partnership with the Lions Clubs International Foundation. Essilor representative Mohamed Agrebi, present on the day, said he was delighted to have taken part. “As Essilor we promote these initiatives, and are happy to have improved the vision of these young athletes at this excellently organised event. Bravo Special Olympics!”

About By Rajah Diouri Sy:I am the National Director of Special Olympics Senegal.
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