- Published on 04 March 2015
The mission of Special Olympics Healthy Athletes®, developed in 1996, is to improve athletes' ability to train and compete in Special Olympics.
Healthy Athletes is designed to help Special Olympics athletes improve their health and fitness, leading to enhanced sports experience and improved well-being.
Special Olympics Healthy Athletes program is an integral part of Special Olympics International; no athlete can hope to compete in sport without proper health care services. Healthy Athletes is of particular significance in the MENA region where lack of awareness coupled with the scarcity of resources is often hampers health care access for people with intellectual disabilities.
Healthy Athletes debuted in the MENA region at the Second Regional Games held in Beirut, Lebanon in 2002. Today we have a thriving program that includes a total of five different disciplines (Special Smiles, Opening Eyes, Healthy Hearing, Health Promotion, and Funfitness) in 12 programs (Bahrain, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Kuwait, Mauritania, and United Arab Emirates). Thousands of MENA region athletes have been screened and referred for advanced medical care.