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


December 17, 2014 | Africa: Kenya

Special Olympics and Lions Clubs Partner in Kenya, Charter First Champions Club in Africa

By Annemarie Hill

A new partnership between Lions Clubs International and Special Olympics will support health programming, family health education, Leo engagement in Unified Sports ® and will provide publicity for joint initiatives to help raise awareness.View Story A new partnership between Lions Clubs International and Special Olympics will support health programming, family health education, Leo engagement in Unified Sports ® and will provide publicity for joint initiatives to help raise awareness. The Lions Clubs International District 411A signed an official MoU with Special Olympics in the presence of First lnternational Vice President Dr. Jitsuhiro Yamada in September. Dr. Yamada also received the Charter Application form of the Friends of Special Olympics Kenya Champions Lions Club, the 1st Champions Lions Club in Africa. The club is dedicated to supporting and raising funds for Special Olympics Kenya. This new club is the 12th Champions Lions Club worldwide. The signing took place after an Opening Eyes screening in which 32 Special Olympics athletes had their vision tested and received prescription lenses and medication. The event was supported by numerous Lions and Leos - a clear indication of the tremendous support to come from the Lions and Leos of Kenya as the partnership kicks off!

About Annemarie Hill:I am the Director of Global Development and Government Relations for Special Olympics.
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December 17, 2014 | Latin America: Puerto Rico

Special Olympics and Lions Clubs Play Unified in Puerto Rico

By David Evangelista

As spectators streamed into a sports complex in San Juan, Puerto Rico, for the inaugural event of the 2014 Lions Clubs International USA/Canada Forum, it was clear that something unique was about to happen.View Story As spectators streamed into a sports complex in San Juan, Puerto Rico, for the inaugural event of the 2014 Lions Clubs International USA/Canada Forum, it was clear that something unique was about to happen. Two Unified basketball teams – made up of Special Olympics Puerto Rico athletes and Leos from Puerto Rico – took the court sporting new uniforms adorning the logos of two organizations dedicated to ensuring that basketball was just the start. The game highlighted the exciting expansion of the organization’s partnership, “Mission: Inclusion”, which provides key vision care and health services to Special Olympics athletes and promotes inclusive sports programming among their global Leo youth network. “It’s fantastic what we are seeing here this evening. Together, we are creating new ways to serve our communities, and demonstrate the power that youth can have in charting this course,” said Joe Preston, President of Lions Clubs International.

About David Evangelista:I am the Vice President of Global Development and Government Relations at Special Olympics.
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December 15, 2014 | SOI General: Headquarters

Planning a Future of Inclusive Health for All

By Christy White

Experts in disability and global health and development gathered last week at UNICEF headquarters in New York City to put their experience and insights to work in driving a global agenda for creating a world of inclusive health for everyone – including people with disabilities. Special Olympics, thrView Story Experts in disability and global health and development gathered last week at UNICEF headquarters in New York City to put their experience and insights to work in driving a global agenda for creating a world of inclusive health for everyone – including people with disabilities. Special Olympics, through the support of the Golisano Foundation, convened this session to hear some of the critical thinking and recommended urgent next steps needed to raise, on a global scale, the issue of the gross health injustices faced by people with disabilities and in particular people with intellectual disabilities, and the need to create inclusive communities of health for everyone. As a result of that meeting, Special Olympics is finalizing a strategic blueprint to mobilize and engage governments, organizations and members of society to create inclusive health communities around the world.

About Christy White:I am the Director of Global Media and Public Relations for Special Olympics
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