Healthy Athletes

Special Olympics is the world's largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, providing year-round training and competitions to more than 4.5 million athletes in 170 countries. Special Olympics competitions are held every day, all around the world—including local, national, and regional competitions, adding up to more than 90,000 events a year.  Special Olympics, as the largest global public health organization dedicated to serving people with intellectual disabilities, needs volunteer health care professionals to serve as volunteers for its Healthy Athletes program. The specialized backgrounds and expertise you offer can ensure that the Healthy Athletes program helps change the lives of people with intellectual disabilities.

Officially launched in 1997, Healthy Athletes organizes its health events in a welcoming, fun environment. Its events educate athletes on healthy lifestyle choices and identify problems that may need additional follow-up.  There are eight disciplines in Healthy Athletes. Information and resources are available for each on the Special Olympics website.

Fit Feet

Fit Feet offers podiatric screenings to evaluate ankles, feet, lower extremity biomechanics, and proper shoe and sock gear to participating athletes.

FUN Fitness

FUNFitness is the physical therapy component of Healthy Athletes. Designed to assess and improve an athlete’s flexibility, functional strength, aerobic capacity, and balance. These screenings also educate participants, families, and coaches.


MedFest offers a sports physical exam for athletes, needed prior to participating in Special Olympics sports programming.

Healthy Hearing

Healthy Hearing offers a free hearing screening designed to ensure proper audiology care for Special Olympics athletes.

Health Promotion

Health Promotion uses health screenings, interactive educational tools and displays, motivational literature and demonstrations to heighten the awareness of athletes, reinforcing the need to improve and maintain an enhanced level of wellness and self-care. It also provides screening for BMI, blood pressure, and bone density.

Opening Eyes

Opening Eyes The Special Olympics-Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes program provides a vision and eye health screening in partnership with the Lions Clubs International Foundation. Led by volunteer vision care professionals, Opening Eyes offers prescription eyewear, sunglasses, and sports goggles to Special Olympics athletes.

Special Smiles

Special Smiles provides comprehensive oral health care information, including free dental screenings and instruction on correct brushing and flossing techniques to participating Special Olympics athletes. This also includes issuing preventative supplies like toothpaste and toothbrushes and fluoride varnish.

Strong Minds

Strong Minds is an interactive learning activity focused on developing adaptive coping skills. Competition provides a natural opportunity to develop active strategies for maintaining emotional wellness under stress, such as: thinking positive thoughts, releasing stress, and connecting with others.

Healthy Athlete Volunteers

Special Olympics Maryland is currently recruiting for Healthy Athlete Volunteers in all disciplines. If you are interested in becoming a Special Olympics Maryland, please fill out the form below. If you have any questions regarding Inclusive Health or Healthy Athletes, please contact Kayla Shields at

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Healthy Athlete Volunteer

Being a Special Olympics Maryland Healthy Athlete Volunteer means that you will be making make a difference in a Special Olympics Maryland athlete’s life. Volunteers will have interaction with athletes in-person as well as virtually. Check out our most recent Health Forum on Sun Safety & Hydration with Pam Greenwood.