Healthy Athletes

The mission of Special Olympics Healthy Athletes, developed in 1996, is to improve athletes’ ability to train and compete in Special Olympics. Healthy Athletes is designed to help Special Olympics athletes improve their health and fitness, leading to enhanced sports experience and improved well-being.

During a Healthy Athletes event, Special Olympics athletes receive a variety of health screenings and services in a series of clinics conducted in a welcoming, fun environment. Health care professionals and students are trained to provide the screenings in an effort to educate the professional community about the health needs and abilities of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Athletes must complete a Special Olympics consent form (pdf) in order to participate with a Healthy Athletes screening. Athletes can either turn it in a the Healthy Athletes screening or mail this completed form to:

Special Olympics Minnesota
Attn: Healthy Athletes
900 2nd Avenue South
Suite 300
Minneapolis, MN 55402

Healthy Athletes Objectives

The key objectives of Special Olympics Healthy Athletes are:

  • Improve access and health care for Special Olympics athletes at event-based health screenings and make referrals to local health practitioners when appropriate.
  • Train health care professionals and students in the health professions about the needs and care of people with intellectual disabilities.
  • Collect, analyze and disseminate data on the health status and needs of people with intellectual disabilities.
  • Advocate for improved health policies and programs for person with intellectual disabilities.

The success of Special Olympics Healthy Athletes events depends on partnering. Special Olympics program staff support the work of trained Healthy Athletes volunteers to provide even based health opportunities for athletes. Event managers create an environment for positive interaction between health care professionals, other volunteers, and Special Olympics athletes and their families. Products, equipment and cash donations from local, national and international companies help to support the program. Financial support of governmental and philanthropic sponsors helps the program grow. Support of the volunteer opportunities offered by Special Olympics Healthy Athletes provides ongoing community network for improved access to health care for Special Olympics athletes — creating a legacy of care.