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 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 (lerickson@specialolympics.org), Manager, Health Communications.


Healthy Athletes News and Stories


October 21, 2014 | SOI: Europe-Eurasia

Spain's Police Academy Hosts VIII National Athletics Competition

By Suzanne Coogan

Action at the VIII National Athletics Competition, Ávila, Espana.

For a second consecutive year in the city of Ávila, Spain’s National Police Academy opened its doors to host the VIII National Athletics Competition for athletes with intellectual disabilities organised by Special Olympics Spain and the non-profit disability rights organization PRONISAView Story For a second consecutive year in the city of Ávila, Spain’s National Police Academy opened its doors to host the VIII National Athletics Competition for athletes with intellectual disabilities organized by Special Olympics Spain and the non-profit disability rights organization PRONISA from 17 Oct-20. More than 100 athletes from ten autonomous regions and host Castilla y León competed on the tracks of the Academy. Thirty local associations participated in the 2k Torch Run relay through the streets of Ávila attended by the city Mayor, Mr. Miguel Ángel García Nieto, the President of Special Olympics Spain, Mr. Gaizka Ortuzar and the President of PRONISA, Mr. Manuel Maiz. The Opening Ceremony took place at the Sports Pavilion of the Academy with the athletes' parade, arrival of the torch and lighting of the cauldron delighting the hundreds of local spectators. For the first time during this competition Healthy Hearing examinations were offered to athletes conducted by expert medical volunteers.

About Suzanne Coogan:Senior Manager, Media and Public Awareness, Special Olympics Europe Eurasia
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October 10, 2014 | Africa: South Africa

West African programs receive Healthy Athletes training

By Lauren Quin

Healthy Athletes training was recently carried out in three programs in West Africa, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Cote d’lvoire. It was great to see Lions Club International and Red Cross at hand to assist in programing and screening.View Story Healthy Athletes training was recently carried out in three programs in West Africa, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Cote d’lvoire. Special Olympics Regional Healthy Athletes Manager Ms. Lauren Quin and Program Development Manager Mr. Charles Takouet, were on site to oversee the training. It was great to see The Lions Club International and Red Cross at hand to assist in programing and screening. Healthy Athletes runs an active program in West Africa and wants to expand their services to offer Family Health Forums, Opening Eyes and Health Promotion over the next two years. To ensure high quality care at their events, programs build relationships with informal partners and specialists with influential roles at their various institutions to assists and take part at their initiative. Volunteers play a crucial role at Healthy Athletes events and it’s imperative that programs develop a strong volunteer database to help sustain volunteerism and continuous help in their health activities. At more than 1.4 million free health screening clinics in more than 100 countries, the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes program offers health services and information to athletes in dire need. In the process, Special Olympics has become the largest global public health organization dedicated to serving people with intellectual disabilities.

About Lauren Quin :Regional Manager, Healthy Athletes
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October 07, 2014 | SOI General: Headquarters

Dr. Perlman Named Honorary Lifetime Member of iADH

By Shantae Polk

Dr. Perlman (right) poses with Dr. Dimitris Emmanouil, iADH President, 2012-14, and also a Special Olympics clinical director in Greece, at the iADH Congress.

Dr. Steve Perlman, a founder of the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes program, was named an honorary life member of the International Association for Disability and Oral HealthView Story Dr. Steve Perlman, one of the founders of the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes program and a current global clinical advisor, was named an honorary life member of the International Association for Disability and Oral Health (iADH) by its governing committee and board of directors. Dr. Perlman was honored at the iADH’s Congress held in Berlin, Germany, on 2 October. Dr. Perlman has been a faithful member of iADH for many years and credits iADH for helping Special Smiles expand its reach with clinical directors across the globe who all specialize and have a passion for special care dentistry. To date, Special Smiles volunteers, led by Dr. Perlman, have completed more than 122,000 free exams as part of the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes program.

About Shantae Polk:Global Manager, Special Smiles and FUNfitness
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