Special Olympics Healthy Athletes® offers free health screenings and education to Special Olympics athletes in a welcoming, fun environment.

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. For every ten athletes on a Special Olympics team:

  • 2 have never had an eye exam
  • 4 need a new prescription for glasses
  • 2 have potential hearing loss
  • 4 have untreated tooth decay and 1–2 are in need of urgent dental care
  • 2–3 have low bone density
  • 6 are overweight and/or at risk for chronic health conditions
  • 5 have problems with strength and 6 have problems with flexibility, placing them at risk for injury
  • 5 have at least one kind of skin or nail condition

Healthy Athletes is not only a program for athletes but, through training and hands-on experience at screenings, it is a program for healthcare students and professionals to increase knowledge of best practices in caring for and communicating with people with intellectual disabilities.

Watch the Healthy Hearing and Special Smiles virtual screenings held on January 29, 2022.

In Minnesota, we offer health screenings in 8 disciplines:

Fit Feet

physical therapy

Health Promotion
prevention & nutrition

physical exam

Special Smiles

Strong Minds
mental health

Volunteer with Healthy Athletes

Join the more than 90,000 health care providers and students worldwide who have volunteered with the Healthy Athletes program.

Jeff Prendergast
Health Programs Coordinator
[email protected]