17 Facts About Special Olympics


Special Olympics is the world's largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities and physical disabilities, providing year-round training and activities to 5 million participants and Unified Sports partners in 172 countries.

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Special Olympics World Games is a major event put on by the Special Olympics committee.

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Special Olympics believed that the benefits of such activity would be seen in all areas of the athletes' lives.

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Special Olympics shared his ideas for national games, while taking a teaching sabbatical and working for the foundation.

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The advisory committee to the Chicago Special Olympics included Dr William Freeberg from Southern Illinois University, Dr Hayden of the Kennedy Foundation, Dr Arthur Peavy, Burke, William McFetridge, and Stephen Kelly of the Chicago Park District, as well as, Olympic decathlon champion Rafer Johnson.

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In 1988, the Special Olympics was officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee .

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In 1997, Healthy Athletes became an official Special Olympics initiative, offering health information and screenings to Special Olympics athletes worldwide.

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Special Olympics's is the first CEO from outside the U S in the organization's history.

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Special Olympics logo is based on the sculpture "Joy and Happiness to All the Children of the World" by Zurab Tsereteli which was a gift to SUNY Brockport when the university hosted the Special Olympics in 1979.

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Special Olympics programs are available for athletes free of charge.

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Special Olympics volunteers are introduced to lifetime friendships and great rewards.

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Special Olympics has more than 30 Olympic-type individual and team sports that provide meaningful training and competition opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities.

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In recent years, Special Olympics has pioneered the concept of Unified Sports, bringing together athletes with and without intellectual disabilities as teammates.

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Recent study of Special Olympics Unified Sports in Serbia, Poland, Ukraine, Germany and Hungary documented the benefits of Unified Sports, including the effect of changing attitudes toward people with intellectual disabilities.

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Special Olympics Arizona promotes inclusion through Unified Arts programming including robotics, music, photography, art competitions, and gardening.

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In 1997, Special Olympics began an initiative called Healthy Athletes, which offers health screenings to athletes in need.

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Since the Healthy Athletes program began, Special Olympics has become the largest global public health organization dedicated to serving people with intellectual disabilities.

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