What is Special Olympics?
Special Olympics is an international Movement dedicated to empowering people with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit, productive and respected members of society, though sports training and athletic competition. The Movement involves:
• 2.5 million Athletes, with a goal of 4 million by 2009
• More than 200 Special Olympics programs in 170 countries
• 26 Olympic-type summer and winter sports
• 7 regional offices around the world, including Belgium, Egypt, Zimbabwe, India, China, Panama, and USA
• Approximately 750,000 volunteers
• More than 2, 00,000 coaches
• More than 20,000 competitions around the world each year
Special Olympics Mission
· 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.
Special Olympics Vision
· The Special Olympics Movement will transform communities by inspiring people throughout the world to open their minds, accept and include people with intellectual disabilities and thereby celebrate the similarities common to all people.
History and Leadership
· Special Olympics began in 1968 with the First International Special Olympics Games at Soldier Field in Chicago. Since then, millions have benefited from the Movement.
· Timothy P. Shriver is the Chairman, President, and CEO of Special Olympics.
· The Board Vice Chairs are Nadia Comaneci, Olympic Gymnastics Gold Medalist; and Raymond J. Lane, Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
· Eunice Kennedy Shriver is the Founder of Special Olympics and its Honorary Chairperson.
Air Marshal Ashok Goel (Retd.) AVSM PVSM VM is the Chairman, President Special Olympics Bharat Uttar Pradesh and National Trustee of Special Olympics Bharat.
Air Marshal Ashok Goel Chairman SOB-UP,
Air Cmdr NK Bhoan, AOC , Kanpur
Dr. Amitav Mishra, Vice Chairman & State Program Director SOB-UP
Special Olympics is founded on the belief that people with intellectual disabilities can, with proper instruction and encouragement, learn, enjoy and benefit from participation in individual and team sports. Special Olympics also believes that through millions of individual acts of inclusion where people with and without intellectual disabilities are brought together, long-standing myths are dispelled, negative attitudes changed and new opportunities to embrace and celebrate people with intellectual disabilities are created.
Special Olympics Initiatives
Special Olympics Healthy Athletes™ includes dental screening, vision examinations, hearing examinations, injury prevention, and nutrition. These screenings and exams are conducted at Special Olympics local, State, National and World Games and are provided at no cost to Special Olympics athletes.
· Special Olympics Get Into It™ is a K-12 service-learning curriculum developed to introduce Special Olympics and explain intellectual disabilities to young people and encourage them to become involved in the Movement and work to dispel the myths and stereotypes that surround people with intellectual disabilities.
· Special Olympics Athlete Leadership Programs (ALPs) offer athletes the opportunity to take active leadership roles both on and off the playing field. Athletes serve on the Boards of Directors, officiate competitions, coach other athletes and make decisions about the future of Special Olympics.
· Special Olympics Unified Sports™ is a program that brings together people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same athletic team.
· Family Support Network gives families a support system within Special Olympics.
· Individuals who compete in Special Olympics develop improved physical fitness and motor skills and greater self confidence. They exhibit courage and enthusiasm and build lasting friendships. These life skills enhance their ability to live normal productive lives.
· More than ever, Special Olympics athletes hold jobs, own homes, go to school and successfully confront life challenges on a daily basis.
· Special Olympics receives funding in support of the Movement from individuals, corporations, foundations, government and restricted grants. The vast majority of funding received is from individuals through the Special Olympics direct mail program.
· To be eligible to participate in Special Olympics, an athlete must be at least eight years old and identified by an agency or professional as having one of the following conditions: mental retardation, cognitive delays as measured by formal assessment, or significant learning or vocational problems due to cognitive delay that have required specially designed instruction.
For More Information:
About Special Olympics, please visit. www.specialolympics.org