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Special Olympics Names Janet Froetscher New Chief Executive Officer: Dr. Timothy P. Shriver Continues as Chairman

October 15, 2013

Special Olympics announced today, after conducting an international search, the appointment of Janet Froetscher as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the growing global movement that is every day using sports, health, education and community building programming to combat inactivity, injustice, intolerance and isolation of people with intellectual disabilities around the world. Special Olympics is the daily life changing force for people with intellectual disabilities.

Advancing the Goal of Special Olympics

Froetscher will join Special Olympics effective Monday, 21 October 2013 and will work from Special Olympics’ global headquarters in Washington, D.C. She will have full responsibility for leading the organization and all of its functions in seeking to fulfill the mission and achievement of the goals of Special Olympics’ strategic plan.

Dr. Timothy P. Shriver, who started with Special Olympics in 1996 as President and CEO and assumed the rule of Chairman in 2003, will maintain his role as Chairman of Special Olympics and be an Ambassador of the mission of the Special Olympics movement. He will continue to be based at Special Olympics in Washington, D.C. and work with Froetscher and Movement leaders around the world to help advance the ultimate goal of Special Olympics.

An Organization with Stunning Achievements

“The results Special Olympics is creating around the world – 4.2 million athletes, over 70,000 yearly competitions, activities in thousands of schools, and the world’s largest public health program for people with intellectual disabilities – are stunning achievements,” said Janet Froetscher. “I look forward to learning from and joining the athletes, volunteers, coaches and families who make up this incredible Movement. I am excited about getting out into the field to learn about the Programs and meet the volunteers and to grow Special Olympics’ influence and impact throughout the world.”

Froetscher joins Special Olympics at an exciting time as the movement has seen tremendous growth and evolution in the past ten years. With seventy five percent of athletes living outside the United States, Special Olympics is the leader in social inclusion through sports in more than 170 countries.

The Largest Disability Group in the World

“I am thrilled to welcome Janet, who I know will join us in helping to transform the world from a place of injustice, stereotypes and exclusion, to a place of acceptance, joy and inclusion,” said Shriver. “I know Janet will embody our mission wholeheartedly."

 There are about 200 million adults and children with intellectual disabilities in the world, representing the largest disability population on earth. Yet they are society's most neglected population. Special Olympics is urgently growing throughout the world, implementing programming, creating opportunities, and influencing policy that are building more accepting and inclusive communities worldwide.

Froetscher transitions to Special Olympics from her role as President & CEO of the National Safety Council (NSC), the leading safety advocate whose mission is to save lives and prevent injuries in the workplace, on the roads and in homes and communities. Under her leadership, the Council has focused on key safety initiatives, grounded in science, to advance its mission. Previous to her role with the NSC, she was the President and CEO of the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago.

About Special Olympics

Special Olympics is an international organization that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports every day around the world. Through work in sports, health, education and community building, Special Olympics addresses inactivity, injustice, intolerance and social isolation by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities which leads to a more welcoming and inclusive society. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown from a few hundred athletes to more than 4.2 million athletes in 170 countries. With the support of more than one million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics is able to deliver 32 Olympic-type sports and more than 70,000 competitions throughout the year. Visit Special Olympics at Engage with us on: Twitter @specialolympics;;, and

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