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Project Description

Supporting People with Developmental Disabilities

Special Olympics

Established in 1968

Mission Statement: 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. This gives 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.

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Impacts & Achievements:

Some of the highlights

CEO Salary: 0.40% of expenses

  • 1.4 million people worldwide take part in Unified Sports

  • Partners with ESPN, MLS, NBA, UEFA

  • 215 colleges and universities have Special Olympics College Clubs

  • Over 4.9 millions athletes involved

  • 172 participating countries

  • 30+ Olympic-style individual and team sports offered

Featured Programs:

How the Special Olympics is making a difference

Healthy Athletes:

Encompassed within Special Olympics is a movement to provide healthier lifestyles to athletes as well as family members that may have neglected or unknown health issues. At the world games and other events that take place Special Olympics offers a variety of free health exams.

Research: Along with the mission to provide healthier lifestyles to athletes, Special Olympics dominates as the leading provider in research around Intellectual Disabilities. They are the primary driver for both social and policy change around the world.

Young Athletes

Young Athletes is the early introduction to sports as well as the world of Special Olympics for children ages 2 to 7 years old. These are critical developmental years for any child and the games and activities provided to the children help in the development of motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

Changing Attitudes

One major goal of Special Olympics is to raise awareness towards the abilities of people and athletes with intellectual disabilities. The goal is to show the understanding of the different obstacles that their athletes overcome.  

Unified Sports

The idea of Unified Sports is to eliminate the stereotypes for people who have Intellectual Disabilities. Special Olympics through Unified Sports strives for inclusion through the power of sports. Sports have the ability to teach all of us important lessons: striving for a goal allows us to dream, through struggle we persevere with determination, by winning we obtain joy, and if we lose the strength to try again.

Athlete Leadership programs:

The Athlete Leadership programs offer and encourage participants of Special Olympics to reach achievement in many different ways. This includes instilling confidence in the athletes to become mentors to other athletes, train to be coaches/officials, and public figures telling audiences the impact Special Olympics has.

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