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.


Healthy Athletes’ influence is evident with more than 120,000 healthcare professionals trained, free health screenings provided to nearly 1.4 million athletes, and 90,000 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.

For more information, contact Lynn Erickson (, Manager, Health Communications.

Healthy Athletes News and Stories

August 27, 2014 | North America: Canada

Mission Inclusion: Fighting Injustice and Achieving Social Inclusion in Partnership

By David Evangelista
August 27, 2014 | Africa: Malawi

Bringing Safer Water to Families in Malawi

By David Evangelista
August 19, 2014 | Africa: South Africa

Exciting new health partnership for South Africa

By Mrs Igna Steyn

On June 7, 2014 Special Olympics South Africa signed a memorandum of understanding with the South African Federation for Mental Health (SAFMH) at Thusanang School for the handicapped in Bela-Bela, Limpopo.View Story On June 7, 2014 Special Olympics South Africa signed a memorandum of understanding with the South African Federation for Mental Health (SAFMH) at Thusanang School for the handicapped in Bela-Bela , Limpopo. This signing of the memorandum by Mrs. Bhartie Patel, Director of SAFMH and Mrs. Igna Steyn, CEO, Special Olympics South Africa was witnessed by Special Olympics Limpopo Provincial Coordinator, Mr. Samuel Maduwa and a Special Olympics athlete leader from Thusanang School, Mr. Refilwe Molotsi. Refilwe remarked,“It is awesome to sit here with you to sign this document. I know the Federation of Mental Health and now together, you will assist us even more.” The cooperation between the two parties will strengthen existing relationships, increase the use of available resources within organizations and services to people with intellectual disabilities will be extended. The signing took place during a Healthy Athletes clinic. At the Healthy Hearing screening during autoscopic examination a bead was discovered stuck in the ear canal of athlete Elizabeth Phaswane. Left unattended the bead could have resulted in severe infection and even loss of hearing in her ear. A follow-up care plan was made through the Healthy Communities project. Dr. Mashudu Tshifularo, an Ear-Nose-Throat Surgeon from the University of Pretoria, was on stand-by to address any procedures that could not be treated within the Healthy Hearing discipline. Elizabeth’s mother was overjoyed that Dr. Tshifularo was able to help her daughter receive the care that she needed. The Special Olympics Healthy Communities initiative takes the principles of the Healthy Athletes program and expands them from a series of single events to a steady presence in the lives of our athletes and their families.

About Mrs Igna Steyn :I am the CEO of Special Olympics South Africa
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