Athletes, parents, and siblings experiences from the Special Olympics World Games

Shirli Werner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background Research supports the importance of sports for people with intellectual disability (ID); however, the unique experience of the Special Olympics (SO) World Games has rarely been examined. The aim of this study was to examine how the SO World Games have affected athletes with ID, their parents and siblings, and the relations between their family members.Method Twenty-three semistructured interviews were conducted with athletes, parents, and siblings within 9 families upon their return from the World Games held in Athens in 2011. Data were analysed using thematic analysis.Results Four themes were found. The first theme dealt with the World Games role in developing the athletes self-identity. The second theme related to the World Games positive impact on their family's quality of life. The third theme related to the World Games positive impact on siblings, and the fourth theme related to the importance of participation in the World Games in improving community awareness and inclusion for the 3 groups: athletes, parents, and siblings.ConclusionsThe results are discussed and practical implications are highlighted, including the need to increase knowledge and awareness of the SO.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)167-178
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability
Volume40
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 3 Apr 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Australasian Society for Intellectual Disability, Inc.

Keywords

  • Qualitative
  • Special Olympics World Games
  • developmental disability
  • family quality of life
  • self-identity
  • sports

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