Fit Athlete 1
A Vision For Fitness
  • Why is fitness important?

    According to a Health and Research Evaluation conducted by Special Olympics International, when compared to their neurotypical peers, people with intellectual disabilities are:

    more likely to be obese

    more likely to have cardiovascular disease

    more likely to have diabetes

    years of reduced life expectancy

    Fitness Newsletter

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    Get Involved

    Learn about the three core fitness programs, which are designed to help people of all abilities and commitment levels come together to reach their fitness goals. Each program offers education, resources and ongoing support to be successful.


    Grow your knowledge of fit and healthy living through a variety of opportunities, including a Resource Library and live monthly chats!


    The greatest stewards of change for inclusive fitness are the forces that inspire and drive the Special Olympics movement: athletes!

Crafting the Vision for Fitness

Relationships drive impact. For more than 50 years, the relationships people with and without disabilities have built from a shared love of sport have resulted in an unparalleled movement.

It is with the confidence that communities thrive when they include disability that we embark on a mission to transform fitness culture in Virginia.

Affiliate Gyms

These gyms have demonstrated an intentional approach to provide fitness opportunities that are inclusive to people with disabilities and have completed the Fitness Affiliate Training. Find out if your gym is an Affiliate!
Affiliate Gyms
Princess Anne Family YMCA
2121 Landstown Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23456
Shockoe Bottom CrossFit
121 N 18th St, Richmond, VA 23223

Measurable Impact

In 2022, Special Olympics Virginia and Old Dominion University's Center for Movement, Health and Disability embarked on a research project to collect and track physical health and mental health markers of Special Olympics athletes across Virginia. Over time, this data will demonstrate the extent to which people with intellectual disabilities adopt a lifestyle of physical fitness and transform the unfavorable health statistics listed at the top of this page.