Healthy Athletes


What Does Inclusive Health Mean? 

Inclusive Health means people with intellectual disabilities (ID) are able to take full advantage of the same health programs and services available to people who do not have ID.  

Currently, people with ID face significant challenges in accessing quality health care and obtaining opportunities that promote fitness and wellness, resulting in pronounced health disparities and reduced life expectancy.  

Special Olympics Illinois’ health programming focuses on improving the physical and social-emotional well-being of people with ID by increasing inclusion in health care, wellness, and health systems for our athletes and others with ID. Learn how we are making a difference – and how you can join in! 


Healthy Athletes 

Screenshot 2024-04-12 094344

Special Olympics has become the largest global public health organization dedicated to serving people with ID. Healthy Athletes, which officially launched in 1997, involves screenings that educated athletes on healthy lifestyle choices and identify problems that may need additional follow up.  

Special Olympics Illinois currently offers six different health screening programs throughout the state: FUNFitness, Healthy Hearing, MedFest, Opening Eyes, Healthy Promotion, and Special Smiles. 

Upcoming Events: 

Weekend Warrior Workout - May 22 (Virtual)

Summer Games - June 7-9 (Bloomington-Normal)

For more information on Healthy Athlete events taking place around the state, please contact Taylor at

Healthy Habits 

Healthy Habits are interactive education stations that help build awareness of how health habits affect sport performance and everyday life. Our mission is to improve each athlete’s ability to perform in Special Olympics Illinois activities by providing health education and resources. 

We currently have 10 Healthy Habit topics: Hydration, Physical Activity, Nutrition, Clean Hands & Hygiene, Emergency Preparedness, Game Day Minds, Goal Setting, Heart Healthy, Sleep Soundly, and Sun Safety.  

Volunteers are continuously needed to make health education possible for athletes at Special Olympics Illinois events. Experience in the medical or public health field is not required for Healthy Habits. 

Become a volunteer.

Fitness & Wellness 

The Fit 5 program makes it easier for anyone to get fit and healthy. Fit 5 provides tools to help you be in control of your own fitness and health journey.  

Follow the three simple actions:

Screenshot 2024-04-12 094524

Weekend Warrior Workouts 

Athletes, partners, coaches, family members and friends of all abilities are welcome to join us for this 45-minute VIRTUAL workout series held throughout the year. Workouts include warm ups, an exercise circuit, cool down, and stretching. Modifications of all exercises are shown.  

Upcoming Events: 


Can’t make it to our Weekend Warrior Workouts? Take a look at the at-home fitness resources below, and stay tuned on social media for our monthly wellness challenges, so you can build upon your physical fitness routine on your own time: 

School Of Strength 

Fit 5 Fitness Videos 

Emotional Wellness 

A strong mind is just as important as a strong body. Take a look at the image below to help maintain a healthy mindset when dealing with stress. Be sure to emphasize thinking positive thoughts, releasing stress, and connecting with others. 

Screenshot 2024-04-12 094948

Health Messengers 

A Health Messenger is a Special Olympics Illinois athlete who has been trained to serve as a health and wellness leader, educator, advocate and role model within their Special Olympics Illinois communities and the community at large.  

Are you passionate about health and interested in leading other Special Olympics Illinois athletes to become healthier individuals?  

If yes, then you should consider applying to participate in the Special Olympics Illinois Health Messenger Leadership Training program. This program empowers athletes to:  

  1. Develop healthy lifestyles
  2. Influence other athletes to lead healthier lives
  3. Advocate within their communities for inclusion around health and wellness services, education and resources
  4. Develop leaders to advocate for the health needs of people with ID 

 Stay tuned for more information and sign up details! 

Contact Us 

If you have questions about our health programming or how to get involved, please contact our health team. 

Taylor Combs

Director - Health & Wellness
Phone: 331-431-5451

Carolyn Cronin

Director - State Championships
Phone: 331-431-4323