Special Olympics


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What is Special Olympics?

Special Olympics is the worlds largest organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics provides year round training to over 4.4 million athletes in over 170 countries around the world.

History of Special Olympics

It all began in the 1950s and early 1960s, when Eunice Kennedy Shriver saw how unjustly and unfairly people with intellectual disabilities were treated. She also saw that many children with intellectual disabilities didn’t even have a place to play. She decided to take action.

Soon, her vision began to take shape, as she held a summer day camp for young people with intellectual disabilities in her own backyard. The goal was to learn what these children could do in sports and other activities – and not dwell on what they could not do.

Special Olympics Mission

The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

In the video below, a commercial from the 2014 Special Olympics games, you can see how Special Olympics has affected the lives of its participants.

Coca-Cola - 2014 Special Olympics commercial


There are many ways for students in high school or college to volunteer with Special Olympics. Connect with a nearby Special Olympics program to volunteer for events, become a coach or be a Fan in the Stands. For more information go to the Project Unify section at SpecialOlympics.org to get the details.

Want more information? Visit the Special Olympics websight