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Special Olympics Michigan focuses on how to help all members of our community with being healthy and promoting wellness through education and resources both in competition and outside. Between the Healthy Athletes and Healthy Community programs we aim to help the athletes become healthier and give them access to treatment they may not have.

Despite a mistaken belief that people with intellectual disabilities receive the same or better health care than others, they typically receive sub-standard care or virtually no health care at all. Special Olympics Michigan brings health care opportunities to the athletes, allowing them to improve their overall health in a comfortable environment.

An athlete learns about dental cleanings

Healthy Athletes®

Providing Health Services for the Most Underserved

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

Special Olympics Michigan has been participating in Healthy Athletes® initiative for many years and strives to give our athletes health screenings and information about their health. Athletes are able to participate in all or some of the health screenings at State Basketball Finals, State Summer Games, State Fall Games, State Poly Hockey Finals and State Winter Games.

Seven Healthy Athletes® Disciplines

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.

Healthy Athletes® currently offers health screenings in seven areas: Fit Feet (podiatry), FUNfitness (physical therapy), Health Promotion (better health and well-being), Healthy Hearing (audiology), MedFest (sports physical exam), Opening Eyes (vision) and Special Smiles (dentistry).

Screenings Offered

Opening Eyes®

Opening Eyes logoVision screening, refractive testing, glasses fabrication, and sunglasses and protective eyewear. (Summer Games)

Special Smiles™

Special Smiles logoDental screenings, education about proper brushing and flossing and the importance of diet to oral hygiene, mouth guards for contact sports, and referrals to community providers for necessary dental care. (Poly Hockey, Summer Games) 

FUNfitness

FunFitness logoSurveys general exercise habits, assess flexibility, functional strength and balance and aerobic fitness, provides education about home exercises to improve performance, and facilitates community referrals as needed. (Fall Games, Summer Games)

Healthy Hearing

Healthy Hearing logoScreenings of hearing acuity, custom swim earplugs, minor hearing aid repairs, consultations on hearing aids and noisy environments, and recommendations for medical or audiological evaluations. (Summer Games) 

Fit Feet

Fit Feet logoEvaluations of the skin, nails, bones and joints of the feet, examinations of the function of the feet and gait, and examinations of athletes' socks and shoes. (State Basketball Finals, Summer Games)

Health Promotion

Health Promotion logoFree screening that offers health information and advice in the areas of nutrition, sun safety, bone density, tobacco cessation and physical fitness. Health Promotion is designed to convey and reinforce key concepts on health living, health lifestyle choices, and nation-specific health issues. (Winter Games, Summer Games)

MedFest

MedFest logoThe MedFest program recruits volunteer physicians to provide the required physical examinations for people who wish to register in Special Olympics. (Winter Games, Summer Games)

Healthy Communities

The Healthy Communities program is unique, as it is recognized and accredited by Special Olympics International. Through commitment to reducing inequality in health care status and increasing access to community health resources programs are given the official title of Healthy Community. The main goal is to create year-round access to quality health care for the Special Olympic athletes.

Through Healthy Athletes, fitness and wellness programs, and with other partnerships, Special Olympics is paving the way for inclusive health.

We are focused on giving the Special Olympic community resources to keep their health on track, because good health is important for someone to have the ability to work, learn, engage with friends and family, and to participate in the sports they love.

Athletes flex their muscles during a SOMIfit class

SOMIfit

This 12 week challenge combines the dedication to improving health, fitness, and wellness through a variety of activities. SOMIfit helps athletes become healthier and develop lifelong healthy habits, while also providing resources to athletes that they may not have regular access to.

To start a SOMIfit program there are four roles that need to be filled to be successful. The roles are the Wellness Coach Coordinator, the Nutritionist Coach, a Data Coordinator, and 10-12 SOMIfit partners. 

If you are interested in starting a SOMIfit program near you, click the SOMIfit interest form link below.

Health and Wellness Contact