Healthy Athletes®

The mission of Special Olympics Healthy Athletes, developed in 1996 by Special Olympics International, 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.

Healthy Athletes offers screenings in eight disciplines, including Fit Feet, FUNfitness (Physical Therapy), Healthy Hearing, Health Promotion, Opening Eyes®, Special Smiles®, MedFest® and Strong Minds.


  • To improve access and health care for Special Olympics athletes at event-based health screenings
  • To  make referrals to  local health practitioners when appropriate
  • To train healthcare professionals and students in the health professions about the needs and care of people with intellectual disabilities
  • To collect, analyze and disseminate data on the health status and needs of people with intellectual disabilities
  • To advocate for improved health policies and programs for persons with intellectual disabilities


To offer screenings at all major state competitions and all 11 area competitions.  Screenings are best served when it is closer to the athlete’s home so a local referral can be made.

Florida needs a minimum of 6 volunteer clinical directors for each discipline. We could do many more screenings if we had more clinical directors to oversee clinics in their geographic locations!

If you are a medical professional or affiliated with a medical facility or medical/dental training institution and would like to assist with the Healthy Athletes program, please contact us today!

Who is a Clinical Director?

  • Licensed professional
  • Proven interest of service
  • Member of or active in local/state/national professional organization
  • Geographic accessibility to program activities
  • Demonstrated leadership abilities
  • Volunteer commitment of 3 years for Program Clinical Director

Role of Clinical Director

  • Attend a one day Train-the-Trainer workshop, followed by a practical experience the next day at a Special Olympics Florida competition (Friday and Saturday activity)
  • Recruit/train volunteers for venue
  • Work with a group of state or regional clinical advisors and Special Olympics Florida staff to develop or locate appropriate education materials, equipment and supplies needed for an event
  • Responsible for working with state or county Special Olympics Florida program leaders
  • Supervise the venue
  • Recruit computer savvy volunteers to enter exam data onsite
  • Report data to Special Olympics Florida
  • Evaluate event
  • Continue to seek opportunities and partnerships for Healthy Athletes activities
  • Participate within Healthy Athletes team, working with the coordinators of other disciplines in the planning capacity sharing of the venue
  • Oversee 2-3 events annually that may take one to two days each


Whether you are in a health care or other professional environment or just having a personal conversation, consider these basic rules for communicating with a person with an intellectual disability.