Countdown to the Games
17-25 June 2023

Healthy Athletes®

Healthy Athletes® is the world's largest inclusive health program focused on the needs of people with intellectual disabilities. It was founded in 1997 by Special Olympics.

Special Olympics' goal is to improve the long-term health care of people with intellectual disabilities by:

  • Targeting group-specific consultations and examinations
  • Increasing health competencies of athletes
  • Educating and increasing awareness among healthcare professionals
  • Initiating political processes to improve health care

Healthy Athletes® disciplines

We offer health screenings in seven categories:

Health Promotion

prevention and nutrition


physical therapy

Fit Feet


Healthy Hearing


Strong Minds

emotional health

Since 1997, the Healthy Athletes® program has provided more than 2.4 million health screenings worldwide.

These interventions have a special meaning for people with intellectual disabilities. Even in today's world, many people with intellectual disabilities face severe health disparities when it comes to prevention and treatment. This is why people with intellectual disabilities are at higher risk for additional health limitations and often have poorer health in many areas.

Healthy Athletes® aims to reduce this and break down barriers to health care. The program provides participants with free health screenings, education, and referrals for continued treatment in an accessible environment.

Healthy Athletes® at the Special Olympics World Games 2023

When: 17-24 June 2023
(Official opening: 18 June 2023)

Where: Messe Berlin, CityCube Level A


Be part of the Healthy Athletes® program!

The implementation of the Healthy Athletes® program requires the expertise and support of (specialist) volunteers. We are looking for people with and without a medical background, as well as students and trainees.

If you want to be a part of it, please send us an email with your name and professional background at:


More information and details will follow in time on this page.

If you have any questions or are interested in advance, please also feel free to contact us directly:

The photo shows a Healthy Hearing exam as part of the Healthy Athletes program. A doctor is examining the ear of an athlete who is smiling relaxedly at the camera.
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The photo shows a demonstration of proper tooth brushing at the Healthy Athletes program "Special Smiles." The staff member is using a toothbrush on a model set of teeth to demonstrate how the athlete should brush their teeth.
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There are three people in the photo. An athlete is lying on a couch during a Healthy Athletes examination while the mobility of his leg is being tested by a physiotherapist. Another woman is also standing next to him.
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The photo shows three women smiling during a "Special Smiles" lesson on how to clean teeth properly.
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The photo was taken during a feet examination. Both the doctor and the athlete smile and show a thumb up.
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The photo shows a group of girls doing some exercises.
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The photo shows a group of people who look at and try on sunglasses.
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The photo shows two people during an Healthy Athletes eye examination.
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The photo shows a man and a woman during an "Opening Eyes" examination. The woman holds up a mirrow and the man sees himself with sunglasses on while smiling.
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Healthy Athletes® Partners
Logo Foundation Golisano
Logo Lions Club International Foundation
Logo Onesight Essilor Luxottica Foundation
Logo Safilo
Logo Starkey Cares
Logo Henry Schein