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Thread: Special Olympics

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    Senior Member Array mrina's Avatar
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    Special Olympics

    Special Olympics
    Special Olympics is an international organization created to help people with intellectual disabilities develop self-confidence, social skills and a sense of personal accomplishment. Among their other activities, Special Olympics conducts the Special Olympics World Games every two years, alternating between Summer and Winter Games.





     







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    Senior Member Array mrina's Avatar
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    History
    The first International Special Olympics Games were held in Chicago in 1968. Anne McGlone Burke, a physical education teacher with the Chicago Park District, began with the idea for a one-time Olympic-style athletic competition for people with special needs. Burke then approached Eunice Kennedy Shriver, head of the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation, to fund the event. Shriver encouraged Burke to expand on the idea and the JPK Foundation provided a grant of $25,000. More than 1,000 athletes from across the United States and Canada participated. At the Games, Shriver announced the formation of Special Olympics. Shriver’s sister, the late Rosemary Kennedy, had an intellectual disability and is often credited as Shriver's inspiration to help grow the Special Olympics.

    In June 1962, Eunice Kennedy Shriver started a day camp, known as Camp Shriver, for children with intellectual disabilities at her home in Potomac, Maryland. Using Camp Shriver as an example, Shriver promoted the concept of involvement in physical activity and competition opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities. Camp Shriver became an annual event, and the Kennedy Foundation (of which Shriver was Executive Vice President) gave grants to universities, recreation departments and community centers to hold similar camps.
    The first International Special Olympics Winter Games were held in February 1977 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, USA. [1]

    In 1988, the Special Olympics was recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It is the only sports organization authorized by the IOC to use the name Olympics in its title.

    On October 30, 2004, President George W. Bush signed into law the "Special Olympics Sport and Empowerment Act," Public Law 108-406. The bill authorized funding for its Healthy Athletes, Education, and Worldwide Expansion programs. [2] Co-sponsored by Representatives Roy Blunt (R-MO), and Steny Hoyer (D-MD), and Senators Rick Santorum (R-PA) and Harry Reid (D-NV), the bills were passed by unanimous consent in both chambers.

    In July 2006, the first Special Olympics USA National Games were held at Iowa State University. Teams from all 50 states and the District of Columbia participated.
    Participation

    More than 2.5 million athletes of all ages are involved in Special Olympics sports training and competition in more than 180 countries The organization offers year-round training and competition in 30 Olympic-type summer and winter sports.

    The Special Olympics Oath is "Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."

    Special Olympics Inc.
    Special Olympics is an international nonprofit organization* dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit, productive and respected members of society through sports training and competition. Special Olympics offers children and adults with intellectual disabilities year-round training and competition in 30 Olympic-type summer and winter sports. (*Special Olympics is recognized as a tax-exempt organization under U.S. Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3).) Special Olympics currently serves 2.5 million people with intellectual disabilities in more than 200 Programs in over 180 countries. Today, Special Olympics stands as a leader in the field of intellectual disability. It is a truly global movement, with more than 500,000 athletes in China, more than 210,000 in India, almost 550,000 in the United States, more than 600 in Afghanistan and 4,400 athletes in Rwanda. Special Olympics World Games were held in Ireland in 2003, in Japan in 2005 and in China in 2007. Most importantly, Special Olympics sharpened the focus on its mission as not just "nice," but critical, not just as a sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities, but also as an effective catalyst for social change. Children and adults with intellectual disabilities who participate in Special Olympics develop improved physical fitness and motor skills, greater self-confidence and a more positive self-image. They grow mentally, socially and spiritually and, through their activities, exhibit boundless courage and enthusiasm, enjoy the rewards of friendship and ultimately discover not only new abilities and talents but "their voices" as well.

    North America
    There are more than 72 Programs in Special Olympics North America. Special Olympics North America has 544,581 athletes participating in all 30 sports offered by Special Olympics.

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    Senior Member Array sunnyajmal's Avatar
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    nice share...

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