Established in 1996, the Healthy Athletes Program is designed to improve athletes’ health and fitness in order to enhance their ability to train and compete in Special Olympics. Healthy Athletes is made up of seven disciplines (noted below) including Fit Feet, FUNfitness, Healthy Hearing, Health Promotion, Opening Eyes®, MedFest and Special Smiles®. All of these programs are non-invasive screenings designed to offer additional support at no cost to our athletes and their families.
Healthy Athletes is dedicated to providing health services and education to Special Olympics athletes, and changing the way health systems interact with people with intellectual disabilities. Through free health screenings, training for healthcare professionals, and evaluation of the health status of people with intellectual disability, Healthy Athletes has become a powerful public health movement worldwide. Check out our Healthy Athletes One Page Snapshot.
Did You Know?
- 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.
- Health Athletes has the world's largest database of health data for people with intellectual disabilities.
- Through Healthy Athletes, more than 100,000 health care professionals have been trained to treat people with intellectual disabilities.
Healthy Athlete Screenings:
SOPA currently offers free health screenings in seven areas:
Fit Feet (podiatry)
FUNfitness (physical therapy)
Health Promotion (better health and well-being)
Healthy Hearing (audiology)
MedFest (sports physical exam)
Opening Eyes (vision)
Special Smiles (dentistry)
In a large study of Special Olympics athletes:
- 29% failed hearing tests
- 35% had untreated vision impairments
- 50% had one or more foot diseases or conditions.
For more information contact:
Director of Programming Projects
610-630-9450 ext. 233