The Challenge: There are nearly 200 million people with intellectual disabilities in the world today. Many of them struggle for the opportunity to be fully integrated into society and in their communities, and even to receive proper medical care. The consequences of this are serious and real. They are faced with discrimination, stigma, and abuse that deny them their most basic human rights to health, education, and sometimes life itself.
The Solution: Since 1968, the Special Olympics Movement has used sports to empower persons with intellectual disabilities in all corners of the globe. Special Olympics’ growing presence in the developing world has brought to light the struggles faced by people with intellectual disabilities. Now, with nearly 4 million athletes in over 170 countries, Special Olympics has become the premier sports and health organization for one of the world’s most forgotten populations.Special Olympics unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sport every day around the world.
" Thirty-five years ago, I was told that I wasn't going to be anybody, that I would be put in an institution. Today I stand here and say that I am somebody."Loretta Claiborne, Special Olympics athlete