is an international organization that helps people with mental retardation
to develop self confidence and social skills through sports training and competition. Special Olympics was founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver
in the 1960s
. 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