Washington, D.C. 16 September 2021 — Special Olympics announced today that it has received its largest single private gift in the organization’s 53-year history. Tom Golisano, Paychex founder, philanthropist and father of a son with an intellectual disability, will provide $30 million, his third major gift to Special Olympics, to expand the Special Olympics Healthy Communities program, which provides health services globally for people with intellectual disabilities (ID), a population that has been critically underserved, especially during the pandemic.

Through the Healthy Communities program over the past five years, Special Olympics conducted 700,000 athlete health screenings — double the number…


A signing ceremony to mark a new partnership between Sport for Development in Africa (GIZ S4DA) and Special Olympics Africa Region builds the hope of athletes with intellectual disabilities for a more inclusive world

NAIROBI, KENYA — 19 August, 2021 — GIZ’s Sport for Development in Africa ( SD4A) and the Special Olympics Africa Region have signed a new partnership agreement to collaborate in inclusive sports for development project activities in Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia and Senegal. This agreement will establish a partnership to promote development perspectives for children and youth through sport in Africa. …


Ben Haack served for 9 years on the Board of his local Program, Special Olympics Australia. We asked him to share his advice for young Athlete Leaders in Africa Region wanting to do the same.

By Ben Haack

The key challenge for an Athlete Leader on a Board is: how do I develop a voice? A voice that is powerful enough and clear enough so that all the big business, corporate leaders from various backgrounds sitting on my Board truly see people with disabilities as their customer, and not be focused on everything else?

This is a big challenge for any Athlete Leader to take on. How do you do it?

1. Be Willing To Learn

You need to be willing to learn about the people you are engaging with, including what sector they are from, and how that operates…


Through the creativity of virtual training and workshops with school principals and educators, the winning message of inclusion is growing in Rwanda


The logo for Special Olympics World Winter Games Kazan 2022 was revealed during an event at the Kazan Kremlin, where it was projected on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site

Visual identity presentation. Special Olympics Russia Winter Invitational Games. Kazan, February 5, 2021. Photo by KSENIYA BOGDANOVA

Kazan, Russia, 8 February 2021: On Friday 5 February, the Local Organizing Committee for the Special Olympics World Winter Games Kazan 2022 unveiled the global event’s logo during a ceremony at the Kazan Kremlin, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The logo carries rich symbolism and was developed in part with a competition for designers across Russia. The visual identity is based on winner Artemiy Lebedev’s concept: Zilant — a mythical dragon creature and symbol of the city of Kazan — hugs a stylized tulip native to the Tatarstan region and serves as a representation of the Volga River. …


Shalel Tennah, Special Olympics Kenya athlete leader and multi-medallist, will share her story on a forthcoming UNICEF virtual panel.


80 athletes with intellectual disabilities now have ears open to the world around them, thanks to Starkey Hearing Technologies and Starkey Hearing Foundation

Of 80 athletes screened, 14 needed hearing aids and more had ear issues that were attended to. These athletes received treatment at the Starkey Hearing Institute.


Art Can Change the World — That’s the message of these young Athlete Leaders in Nigeria. Read their story here.

Tomiwa Adeyemo, a youth leader from Special Olympics Nigeria and Special Olympics Youth Innovation Grant recipient, started Art for All, an inclusive art program to share the message of inclusion in her community. In partnership with Socially Africa, Art for All brought together a group of 16 inclusive individuals to participate in a 6-week art training program. The project used art as a tool to build friendships, create support systems, develop talents, and build confidence.

At the end of the…


On 20–21 September 2019, Special Olympics Kenya and Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology hosted a symposium on the interdisciplinary approach to health and vision care for individuals with intellectual disabilities, funded by Optometry Giving Sight.

The aims of this training included increasing knowledge of the medical community on the most common health and vision issues faced by individuals with intellectual disabilities and to help establish a health ‘supply chain’, including triage and primary health care collaboration.

Over 120 students and lecturers from Masinde Muliro University and the Kenya Medical Training College participated in the didactic and practical training.

In addition, eleven stakeholders from the health and education sectors took part in an inclusive health stakeholder meeting in Nairobi. Participants included representatives from:

  • UNICEF,
  • Kenya’s Ministry of Health,
  • Kenya’s Ministry of Education,
  • the Kenya National Health…

7 countries from Africa Region will send competing teams to the Special Olympics World Winter Games 2022 in Kazan, Russia

Special Olympics teams from Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa will join over 2,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities from 108 nations as they compete in seven sports in January 2022 in Kazan, Russia.

By creating an atmosphere of equality, unity, youth, and pride through sports, Special Olympics World Winter Games 2022 will educate the public, change perceptions, challenge stereotypes, and address barriers to inclusion.

In a typical year, Special Olympics holds over 100,000 competition events in 32 Olympic-style sports for over six million athletes and Unified partners in over 190 countries and territories. During…

Special Olympics Africa Region

Revealing the champion inside all of us, every day around the world and in Africa! Sports and health programming for people with intellectual disabilities.

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