Healthy Athletes


The Special Olympics Healthy Athletes program offers health services and information to athletes in need. In the process, Special Olympics has become the largest global public health organization dedicated to serving people with intellectual disabilities.

Special Olympics Illinois currently offers 6 different health screening programs throughout the state: FUNFitness (physical therapy), Healthy Hearing (audiology), MedFest (sports physical exam), Opening Eyes (vision), Healthy Promotion and Special Smiles (dentistry).

Officially launched in 1997, Healthy Athletes organizes its events in a welcoming, fun environment. Its screenings educate athletes on healthy lifestyle choices and identify problems that may need additional follow-up.

For more information on Healthy Athlete events taking place around the state, please see our events calendar. If you are interested in starting up a Healthy Athletes event in Illinois or for more information, please contact Carolyn Cronin at

Healthy Fit Tips

School of Strength

Special Olympics Illinois along with Special Olympics Inc. & the WWE is introducing a whole new way to exercise… AT HOME!! Work out with these four videos five times a week to help you stay fit and reach your goals. Each week will begin with Sunday’s workout and finish with Saturday’s workout. Week 1 will begin Sunday, March 22nd! Watch them in order starting with Video 1. Athletes, Unified Partners, Coaches & Family Members are invited to participate!

What You Need to Get Started
  • A rug or exercise mat
  • A chair, wall or another sturdy object you can lean on
  • Water and a towel
  • Enough space to spread your arms wide


Week 1 = Sunday, March 22 – Saturday March 28

Week 2 = Sunday, March 29 – Saturday April 4

Week 3 = Sunday, April 5 – Saturday April 11

Week 4 = Sunday, April 12 – Saturday April 18

Making Your Fitness Goals

Fill out a Fitness Tracker to get the most out of your workouts. Download and print out your tracker, and write down when you work out. Seeing your progress on paper can motivate you, help you set realistic fitness goals, and even beat them. Keep track of your weekly progress so you can report back to SOILL every Sunday!

Click here for your month long Fitness Tracker

Get Social!

You have been given a template certificate for your achievements. At the end of each week fill out a certificate and snap a picture of yourself holding your certificate.

Click here to download your SOILL School of Strength Weekly Certificate

What’s next!? Send that photo to Carolyn ( at SOILL. At the beginning of each week Special Olympics Illinois will compile a collage of all photos submitted! Photos must be sent to Carolyn by 12 Noon on each Sunday!

Keep your eyes open every Monday on Special Olympics Illinois’s social media pages for our School of Strength Collage’s

Get Rewarded!

Special Olympics Illinois will reward 5 athletes who successfully complete the entire SOILL School of Strength Program. At the end of week 4, athletes who have completed all weekly tasks, will be entered into a random drawing for Special Olympics Illinois prizes!

  • Minimum of 4 videos per day / 5 days per week
    • Each video is 5 – 7 minutes of activity; the goal is to exercise at least 30 minutes total!
  • Complete SOILL School of Strength Google Form at the end of each week (Saturday)
  • Submit photo with completed SOILL-SOS Certificate

Click here to complete your School of Strength Google Form!

Hey Coaches and Caregivers!

Special Olympics has released health resources for you as well! The Coaches Playbook and the Caregiver Kit are two resources created to help make work outs fun and healthy eating habits easily achieved!

The Coaches Playbook

Use our Coach’s Playbook to help make working out feel fun during training sessions. You can also use it to give athletes exercise ideas they can do on their own.

Click Here to Download the Coaches Playbook!

The Caregivers Kit

Find even more ways to have fun while eating healthy with our Caregiver’s Kit. You’ll get nutrition tips and tricks that encourage your athlete to make healthy choices on their own. You’ll also get a fitness tracker you and your athlete can use to set goals and record progress.

Click Here to Download the Caregivers Kit

Healthy Athlete Disciplines

For more information on the various Healthy Athlete disciplines offered by Special Olympics Illinois click on the links below.

Opening Eyes

Healthy-Athletes-Picture---Opening-Eyes-1The Special Olympics-Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes program is a vision and eye health screening in partnership with the Lions Clubs International Foundation. Led by volunteer vision care professionals, Opening Eyes is able to offer prescription eyewear, sunglasses and sports goggles to Special Olympics athletes.

Since 2001, the Lions Clubs International Foundation’s generous support has made it possible to expand Special Olympics’ Opening Eyes initiative globally. The contribution not only maintains and improves all aspects of the initiative, but also helps provide volunteer support to the organization.

In Illinois, we currently offer Opening Eyes screenings at Summer Games, Chicago MedFest and at some Chicago Public Schools.

For more information, visit the SOI Resources Page.

Healthy Athletes Picture - Opening Eyes 2

Healthy Hearing

Healthy-Athletes-Picture---Healthy-HearingSpecial Olympics Healthy Hearing program is a free hearing screening designed to ensure proper audiological care for participating Special Olympics athletes. Led by volunteer professionals, Healthy Hearing also provides tests for cerumen (ear wax) and otoacoustic emissions tests.

In Illinois, we currently offer Healthy Hearing screenings at Summer Games.

For more information, visit SOI Resources Page.


Healthy-Athletes-Picture---FunfitnesssSpecial Olympics FUNfitness is a physical therapy screening program that is designed to assess and improve physical strength, flexibility, balance and aerobic fitness; educate athletes and parents on the importance of becoming and staying physically fit; and provide a hands-on opportunity for participating Special Olympics athletes to learn more about physical therapy. FUNfitness is directed by volunteer physical therapists that assess and provide referral for athletes needing either physical therapy rehabilitative or fitness programming services.

In Illinois, we currently offer FUNfitness screenings at Summer Games and Chicago’s District Bocce.

For more information, visit SOI Resources Page.


Healthy-Athletes-Picture---MedFestSpecial Olympics MedFest is a free health screening that facilitates the acquisition of the standard sports physical that is required under the General Rules of Special Olympics Illinois. Led by volunteer physicians, nurses, physician assistants and medical students, the MedFest screening consists of the following stations: medical history, height and weight, blood pressure, cardiology test, musculoskeletal test, orthopedic tests, abdominal evaluation and a check-out station.

In Illinois, we currently offer MedFest events at the local Area level to prepare athletes for participation with Special Olympics Illinois. For a full list of events, check our Events Calendar.

For more information, visit SOI Resources Page.

Special Smiles

Special Olympics Special Smiles offers free dental screening, oral health information and instructions on brushing and flossing properly to participating Special Olympics athletes, as well as preventative supplies like toothpaste and toothbrushes. Athletes who require follow-up dental services are referred to local oral health professionals.

In Illinois, we currently offer Special Smiles events at many competitions, including various Area Spring Games and Summer Games.

For more information, visit SOI Resources Page.

Health Promotion

Health Promotion, a discipline of Special Olympics Healthy Athletes, focuses on healthy living, healthy lifestyle choices, and nation-specific health issues. In addition to health education activities, health Promotion offers screenings for bone density, blood pressure, and body mass index (BMI). Its goals include encouraging and enhancing healthy behaviors and improving self-efficacy and self-advocacy.

In Illinois, we currently offer Health Promotion at Summer Games.

For more information, visit SOI Resources Page.

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