HEALTHY ATHLETES


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The Healthy Athletes initiative is program designed to help Special Olympics athletes improve their overall health and fitness, leading to an enhanced sports experience and improved well-being.

During a Healthy Athletes event, Special Olympics athletes receive a variety of health screenings in a welcoming and fun environment.

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The need for Healthy Athletes is great. Despite a mistaken belief that people with intellectual disabilities receive the same or better health care than others, they typically receive sub-standard care, or virtually no health care at all. People with intellectual disabilities have poorer health, more specialized health care needs, and greater difficulty accessing health care services and doctors compared to the general population.

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  • People with intellectual disabilities have a 40% higher risk than the general population for several preventable health
  • Most people are unaware of health disparities – 68% of people around the world think people with intellectual disabilities receive the same or better health care than others.

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  • HEALTHY ATHLETES DISCIPLINES


    Since officially launching in 1997 as a Special Olympics program, Healthy Athletes has grown to provide EIGHT different health screenings with the goal to improve athletes’ ability to train and compete in Special Olympics. Hover over each discipline for more information!

    OPENING EYES

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    Opening Eyes

    The mission of Special Olympics – Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes® is to improve the quality of life for the millions of individuals diagnosed with intellectual disabilities by optimizing their vision, eye health and visual skills through quality eye care.

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    STRONG MINDS

    COMING SOON

    STRONG MINDS

    COMING SOON

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    SPECIAL SMILES

    SPECIAL SMILES

    Providing solutions to chronic dental problems, or providing an athlete with a mouth guard, can enhance the athlete’s performance.

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    HEALTHY HEARING

    HEALTHY HEARING

    The Healthy Hearing program serves as a global audiological screening, care, and referral program for our athletes.

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    FIT FEET

    FIT FEET

    Many Special Olympics athletes suffer from foot and ankle pain, or deformities that impair their performance. Athletes are not always fitted with the best shoes and socks for their particular sport.

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    FUNfitness

    FUNFITNESS

    FUNfitness is the comprehensive physical therapy component of the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes® initiative.

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    MEDFEST

    MEDFEST

    Special Olympics MedFest is a free health screening that facilitates the acquisition of the standard sports physical is required under the General Rules of Special Olympics, Inc.

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    HEALTH PROMOTION

    HEALTH PROMOTION

    Health Promotion is a free screening that offers health information and advice in the areas of nutrition, sun safety, bone density, tobacco cessation, and physical fitness.

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    GET INVOLVED

    155,000 health care professionals and students have been trained to treat people with intellectual disabilities. Sign up and become a volunteer today!

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    UPCOMING EVENTS

    Want to know where the next Healthy Athletes event will be? Stay connected and discover a Healthy Athlete event at a tournament near you!

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    QUESTIONS?

    For more information about Healthy Athletes or to get involved with the project, please contact: Shafeeq Armstrong, Program Developer (Health, Research and Leadership)