Special Olympics is the world’s largest public health organization for people with intellectual disabilities, providing access to free health services for a population with significant, unmet health needs. Often, those with intellectual disabilities and their families don’t understand what is needed to optimize their health. Healthy Athletes provides accessible information, resources, systems and policies at the individual, community, national and global levels that support them in realizing sustainable healthy and productive lives.

What We Do

Special Olympics Healthy Athletes® provides free health exams in a fun, welcoming environment that removes the anxiety that often accompanies a visit to a doctor or dentist. More than 1.4 million free health exams have been given to Special Olympics athletes to date.

Volunteer Benefits

Special Olympics health programs not only serves athletes but also trains health care professionals. After working with Healthy Athletes® , these dedicated professionals go back to their practices with increased knowledge of and compassion for people with intellectual disabilities.

2018 Details




According to the World Health Organization (WHO), despite the severe need and higher health risk, people with intellectual disabilities are denied health services, community interventions, and there is a lack of targeted interventions and programs for the population. Health care professionals who volunteer with Special Olympics have found that Special Olympics athletes are at increased risk of secondary health issues:

Tooth decay

37% have obvious,
untreated tooth decay

Eyewear prescription

37% needed new
eyewear prescription

Low bone density

23% have low
bone density

Failed hearing test

26% failed
hearing tests

Skin condition

48% have at least
one kind of skin
or nail condition

Athlete obesity

59% of adult and 30% of youth athletes are overweight or obese


Fit Feet


Health Promotion

Healthy Hearing

Opening Eyes

Special Smiles



Healthy Athletes screenings are held at both Summer & Fall Games Championships every year. Free screenings are available to all SOSC Athletes, not only those competing at the games. See the below linked webspages for details as they become available My concern with this is that it has links specifically to Summer and Fall Games however we now provide screening at Traditional competitions, School Games, Championship competitions (Summer/Fall Games), and standalone settings. Can we change the wording to this to reflect these changes?


MedFest was created to offer the physical exam that all athletes need prior to participating in Special Olympics sports programming. Through the support of Kaiser Permanente, these exams are conducted by licensed physicians at no cost to athletes and their families. They are open to existing athletes, as well as those that may be new, or interested in participating in Special Olympics.