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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 30, 2016 | SOI General: Headquarters

22 Special Olympics Programs Activate Fitness Programming Models

By Monica Forquer

Special Olympics Nigeria was one of 22 Special Olympics Programs to activate a fitness implementation grant in 2016.

In 2016, Special Olympics created new resources and provided support for Programs expanding their fitness offerings to Special Olympics athletes interested in pursuing year-round, lifelong fitness.View Story Physical fitness is an important part of the mission of Special Olympics as it is necessary for optimal health and athletic performance. In 2016, Special Olympics created new resources and provided support for Programs expanding their fitness offerings to Special Olympics athletes interested in pursuing year-round, lifelong fitness. Twenty-two Special Olympics Programs were selected for a Fitness Implementation grants funded by Finish Line. Through this grant, more than 1,500 athletes, partners, coaches and family members got to experience the importance of a healthy lifestyle through adequate physical activity, nutrition and hydration as Programs replicated one of three field-developed, SOI-endorsed fitness program models. The grant cycle ended on 15 December, but for many of the grantees, this year was just the beginning with most Programs planning to continue fitness opportunities in the future.

About Monica Forquer:I am the Manager of Fitness for Special Olympics.
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December 23, 2016 | North America: Pennsylvania

Athlete Health Corner: Improving Health

By Jordan Schubert

Jordan shares, "Any small exercises can help go a long way in improving everyone’s daily health and wellness routine."

I’m always thinking of ways to improve my health. Health is important to me.View Story I’m always thinking of ways to improve my health. Health is important to me because not only does it help with my sports performance, it also teaches me ways to challenge myself and set goals outside of Special Olympics. These goals could range from little things like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or big things like going to the gym multiple times a week. Any small exercises can help go a long way in improving everyone’s daily health and wellness routine. Every day at work I still try to get my legs moving at least once every hour. If I’m too tired to go to the gym when I get home, another thing I try to do is play basketball in my driveway. While I’ve accomplished a lot during my 12 years in Special Olympics, I’m still only getting started. I was involved with Special Olympics Healthy Athletes® and the year-round focus on health called Healthy Communities in 2014. In Healthy Athletes, I’ve been through Special Smiles, Healthy Hearing and Fit Feet. Pennsylvania hosted an Athlete Congress where the highest voted athlete selected priority was improving athletes’ health, nutrition and fitness and as a result of the 2014 Athlete Congress, we have taken several big steps towards improving athletes’ health, nutrition and fitness inside and outside of Special Olympics. I encourage athlete leaders everywhere to make health a priority. We need to work together to help stop the issues our Healthy Athletes volunteers continue to see.

About Jordan Schubert:Jordan Schubert has been a Special Olympics athlete in Special Olympics Pennsylvania for 12 years. He currently competes in basketball and floor hockey and previously competed in softball and soccer. Jordan is the Athlete Leadership Coordinator for Special Olympics Pennsylvania. He is passionate about sharing the message on how important good health and nutrition are to improving health for people with intellectual disabilities.
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December 23, 2016 | SOI General: Headquarters

New Videos Give Overviews of MedFest

By Peyton Purcell

Two great new videos are available that tell the story of Healthy Athletes MedFest in two ways.View Story Two great new videos are available that tell the story of Healthy Athletes MedFest in two ways. "An Introduction to MedFest" is a 90-second overview of Healthy Athletes MedFest. It shows how MedFest provides essential sports physical exams to our athletes in a welcoming and professional way. "Overview of Medfest for Clinical Directors" is an 18-minute video that shows how Healthy Athletes MedFest works. It's a good introduction to the process for MedFest clinical directors. You can see both videos on the MedFest Resources Page. Link is below.

About Peyton Purcell:I am the Senior Manager, Health Promotion and MedFest, for Special Olympics.
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Healthy Athletes Events


Date

Event

Location

Mar 20 - 24 2017

Healthy Athletes Exams at World Winter Games

Free health and sports fitness exams will be offered to all athletes attending the 2017 World Winter Games will have the opportunity to receive free health and sports exams. Doctors, nurses and medical students offer their time for free to examine our athletes. They check the eyes, ears, feet, mouth and teeth. The health care volunteers make sure the athletes at a Games are fit to compete.
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