Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Special Olympics is an international organization that helps people with Intellectual Disabilities develop self confidence and social skills through sports training and competition. Special Olympics was created by Chicago Judge Ann McGlone Burke in the 1960s, with further materials and organizational support from Eunice Kennedy Shriver. The late Rosemary Kennedy, who suffered from mental retardation, is often credited as the inspiration for the Special Olympics. (Shriver and Kennedy were sisters.) The current chairman and chief executive officer of the organization is her son, Timothy P. Shriver.
Today, over one million athletes, from children to adults, are involved in Special Olympics sports programs in more than 150 countries. The organisation offers athletes year-round training and competition in 26 Olympic-type summer and winter sports. There is no charge to participate in Special Olympics. Events are geared to accommodate a variety of levels of ability so that athletes can compete with others who have similar capabilities.
The Special Olympics Oath is "Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."
Like the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, the Special Olympics World Games are held once every four years. The last Summer Games were held in Dublin, Ireland from June 20-29, 2003, the first time the games were held outside the USA. The next Winter Games will be held in Nagano, Japan, between February 26-March 5, 2005. The first International Special Olympics Games (as they were known at the time) were held in Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois, USA, in 1968.
- Special Olympics World Summer Games
- Special Olympics World Winter Games
- Special Olympic Games
- Olympic Games
- Flame of Hope
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