Special Olympics was started by Eunice Kennedy Shriver in 1968 as a way to provide people with intellectual disabilities a place to play and feel included. Today, her vision has become a global movement with more than 6.7 million athletes and Unified Sports partners participating in more than 200 countries..
Through programming in sports, inclusive health, education and community building, Special Olympics is changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics removes barriers and stigmas that people with intellectual disabilities face, so they can share their gifts and talents with the community.
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.