Starkey Hearing Foundation teamed up with Healthy Athletes to support the Healthy Hearing program at the 2019 Special Olympic World Games in Abu Dhabi. Together, with professionals from around the world, we help serve over 260 athletes from 67 different countries around the world.
The Healthy Athletes Program, designed by Special Olympics, was established to improve each athlete’s ability to train and compete in events, as well as in life, by providing free heath screenings, services, and education in conjunction with competition events. It has helped create a welcoming environment for athletes to receive the care they need but otherwise may not be able to afford or have access to in their home countries.
In just over one week, our team had the chance to meet outstanding athletes from around the globe, each with an incredible story of their own. Not only was our team there to help provide initial hearing care for them, we were also able to provide immediate follow-up care throughout the week in case any recipients were having difficulty operating their new devices or having any discomfort.
In true Starkey fashion, our team continued to show our support for the athletes by cheering them on from the sidelines and providing AfterCare when needed to make sure athletes didn’t have to miss more than a second of the action that they had worked so hard for. There were countless inspiring moments as our team was able to help give the gift of hearing and then see its direct impact as athletes’ performances were almost immediately enhanced because they were better able to connect with the sounds around them.
Seeing so many different nations and cultures come together to support thousands of determined athletes from around the world was truly magical. As an international organization, we are proud to be part of the global movement that is Special Olympics and to help promote positive social change for people with intellectual disabilities for a more inclusive world.