Healthy Athletes at Summer Games
In order for athletes to perform at their best, both on and off the playing field, we believe promoting a healthy life style to our athletes is critical to their success. The Healthy Athletes program is dedicated to providing health services and education to Special Olympics athletes and changing the way health systems interact wth people with intellectual disabilities. Our Summer Games was the perfect venue to introduce and educate our athletes on healthy living. The Healthy Athlete screenings were offered on Friday, May 31, 2019 from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm at the Boys and Girls Club of Truckee Meadows, Pennington Campus.
The athletes rotated through different stations and learned about proper health care from trained clinicians for each of the disciplines offered.
- FUNfitness - provides fitness assessments and education of athlete flexibility, functional strength, balance and aerobic condition.
- Fit Feet – Many athletes suffer from foot and ankle pain, or deformities that impair their performance. To alleviate these problems, volunteer podiatrists work with athletes to evaluate problems of the feet, ankles and lower extremity biomechanics.
- Special Smiles - provides comprehensive oral health care information, offers free dental screenings and instructions on correct brushing and flossing techniques to athletes.
- Strong Minds – uses interactive learning activities focusing on developing adaptive coping skills o identify ways to manage stress during competition and in daily life
- MedFest - offers the physical exam that all athletes need prior to participating in Special Olympics sports. Screenings assess blood pressure, temperature, pulse, height, weight, body mass index, vision, hearing, medical history, potential medication side effects and general physical health.
Please sign-up to schedule a MedFest appointment, but walk-ins are always welcome. All information
submitted will be kept confidential and only seen by the Competition Director and the clinicians.
The ultimate goal of Healthy Athletes is to improve each athlete’s ability to train and compete in Special Olympics as well as in life. Attendance at Healthy Athletes events was very important and here is why:
In the US, on average, on a team of 10 athletes:
- 2 have untreated tooth decay and 1 needs an urgent referral to a dentist
- 4 need eyeglasses and 2 have some kind of eye disease
- 3 will fail a hearing test
- 3 will have low bone density
- 6 will have significant problems with flexibility, and 4 with balance, placing them at risk for injuries
- 7 will be overweight/obese and at risk for chronic health conditions
Special Olympics Health, made possible by the Golisano Foundation in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.