Too often, people with an intellectual disability do not have access to or receive the health care service they need, and are susceptible to the same health issues as anyone else.
Through our Healthy Athletes program, Special Olympics provides critical free health screenings, and educates about the importance of health, nutrition and wellness. In addition to our sports offerings, we encourage our athletes to participate in ongoing, community-based health and wellness activities.
We hope this #projectOM collaboration will introduce yoga to countless Special Olympics athletes and their families, as part of our shared vision for inclusive health opportunities. We’re encouraging all athletes, Unified partners, and families try something new Mother’s Day weekend as part of #projectOM that could become part of your regular health and fitness routine – yoga!
At 24 years old in 2015, Olivia Quigley, who had autism and resided in Wisconsin, was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. One month after her diagnosis, Olivia was invited to compete in the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, an event for which she had spent years training. After five months of chemotherapy treatments, and one month shy of completing treatment, Olivia was determined to participate in the World Games in Los Angeles. Despite fatigue and pain, Olivia won two gold medals and one silver medal in 2015, all of which she dedicated to women around the world currently battling breast cancer. Olivia saw her experience as an opportunity to inspire others, and inspire she did. She died of breast cancer on November 8, 2016.