Our goal is to make health and fitness more accessible!

Despite severe need and higher health risks, people with intellectual disabilities (ID) are often denied health services and die on average 16 years sooner than the general population.

On a global scale, Special Olympics Health, made possible by the Golisano Foundation, and in the United States in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is creating a world where people with intellectual disabilities have every opportunity to be healthy.

Inclusive health means people with ID are able to take full advantage of the same health programs and services available to people who do not have ID. Currently, people with ID face significant challenges in accessing quality health care and obtaining opportunities that promote fitness and wellness, resulting in pronounced health disparities and reduced life expectancy. Special Olympics’ health programming focuses on improving the physical and social-emotional well-being of people with ID by increasing inclusion in health care, wellness and health systems for Special Olympics athletes and others with ID.

Here in Minnesota, we are committed to improving the health of individuals with ID through promoting fitness and providing free health screenings.


Partner with Special Olympics Minnesota to promote inclusive fitness.

Healthy Athletes

Special Olympics Minnesota offers free health screenings and education for our athletes.

In the News

Special Olympics’ School of Strength is going worldwide
November 3, 2021 – The School of Strength initiative from Special Olympics is a partnership with WWE, looking to help athletes stay fit from home, year-round. It gave Special Olympics a perfect tool to support athletes during the pandemic.

Chris Nikic, first Ironman finisher with Down syndrome, shares philosophy of 1% better
October 26, 2021 – Special Olympics athlete Chris Nikic shares his philosophy for training and exercise in his new book 1% Better: Reaching My Full Potential and How You Can Too. The book outlines how Chris tackles training by doing a little more each day so he can achieve great accomplishments, such as finishing the Ironman or more recently, the Boston Marathon.

Community leader and mental health advocate
October 7, 2021 – Like many of us, Kayte has had her fair share of mental health struggles throughout the years. However, Special Olympics Minnesota has been a consistent source of community and inclusion for Kayte. Today, she is helping fellow athletes improve their physical and mental health as a Special Olympics Health Ambassador.