Healthy Athletes®

Special Olympics Healthy Athletes is a program designed to help Special Olympics athletes improve their health and fitness.  This can lead to a better sports experience and improved well-being.  Athletes receive a variety of health services through clinics conducted in welcoming environments at Special Olympics competitions.

Print Special Smiles:  Offers athletes oral screening, oral health education, personal preventative products, free giveaways and information concerning needed follow-up care by community-based dentists and educational institutions. Dentists and dental hygienists have been recruited to conduct exams on our athletes during the Summer Games.  All have received specialized training to work with our athletes.
Special Smiles Clinical Director Qualifications
Print Opening Eyes:  Athletes receive extensive vision and eye tests, refraction’s for those requiring further screening, prescription glasses (free to the athletes), prescription protective sports eye wear (free to the athletes), free giveaways and referral advice for follow-up care.  Optometrists and eye care professionals have been recruited to conduct eye exams on our athletes during the Summer Games.  All have received specialized training to work with our athletes
Opening Eyes Clinical Director Qualifications
Print FUNfitness:  The purposes of Special Olympics FUNfitness are to assess and improve flexibility, strength and balance; to educate athletes, coaches, families and caregivers about the importance of flexibility, strength and balance; and to provide a hands-on opportunity for Special Olympics athletes to learn about physical therapy.  Physical therapists work with athletes and coaches, making recommendations for optimal function in their sports training and competition, while discussing warm-ups and risk prevention.
FUNfitness Clinical Director Qualifications
Print Fit Feet:  Many Special Olympics athletes suffer from foot and ankle pain or deformities that impair their performance.  Athletes are not always fitted with the proper shoes and socks for their particular sport.  Volunteer health care professionals screen athletes feet and ankles for deformities as well as check for infections, nail care and proper shoes and socks.
Fit Feet Clinical Director Qualifications
Print Health Promotion:  Offers athlete tips on nutrition, adequate hydration, maintaining personal hygiene, safety, fitness, danger of tobacco use, sun safety and other health concerns.  Athletes will have a chance to get their height, weight and bone density scan.  Handouts and giveaways will be available to athletes who participate.
Health Promotion Clinical Director Qualifications
Print Healthy Hearing:  The Healthy Hearing discipline of Healthy Athletes provides hearing examinations and follow-up recommendations.
Healthy Hearing Clinical Director Qualifications
Print MedFest:  Opportunity to receive free Special Olympics Iowa athlete physicals.
MedFest Clinical Director Qualifications

Become a Clinical Director

Special Olympics Clinical Directors are volunteer professionals who are responsible for working with Special Olympics Iowa and other volunteer health professionals in coordinating the local Healthy Athletes Program. Please see the table above for the Clinical Director role and qualification descriptions for each program.

Health Messengers

Are you a Special Olympics Iowa athlete who…

  • Is passionate about your health?
  • Is committed to leading the charge in efforts to make your team and community healthier?
  • Is interested in talking with health care providers or political leaders about the importance of quality health care for people with intellectual disabilities?
  • Wants to learn more about what it really means to live a healthy lifestyle?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you should consider applying to be trained as a Special Olympics Iowa Health Messenger!

For more information on the Health programs, contact:
Kara Enerson, Health and Fitness Coordinator