2012 sees ties between Special Olympics and Paralympics

August 29, 2012

London 2012 marks new ties between Paralympics and Special Olympics

230x300_london_2012_olympics_paralympics_logo

Did you know 120 athletes with intellectual disabilities have qualified for London 2012 Paralympics competing in track & field, aquatics and table tennis.

It was nearly 25 years ago when the IOC first recognized Special Olympics with a Protocol of Agreement during the 1988 Winter Olympics. In 2009, the IPC membership voted to include athletes with intellectual disability in competitions, including the Paralympics, starting with the 2012 London Summer Games. This reversed a decision made for the 2000 Sydney Paralympic Games to exclude athletes with intellectual disabilities from the Paralympics and other IPC sanctioned competitions.

People often ask the question “What is the difference between Special Olympics and Paralympics?”
Special Olympics, the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee are complementary organizations, each one a testimony to the power of sport. As Tim Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics International puts it: “We are both trying to use the power of sport to change the way the world sees people who have differences”
Each is a pillar of the Olympic movement charged with fulfilling the Olympic vision in a distinct way.

Special Olympics welcomes all athletes with intellectual disabilities (age 8 and above) of all ability levels to train and compete in 32 Olympics-type sports.

Paralympics welcomes athletes from six main disability categories: amputees, cerebal palsy, intellectual disabilities, visually impaired, spinal injuries and Les Autres (French for "the others", a category that includes conditions that do not fall into the categories mentioned before).  To participate in Paralympic Games athletes need to fulfill certain criteria and meet certain qualifying standards.

It is our sporting philosophy that differentiates us the most.

Special Olympics believes deeply in the power of sports to help all who participate to fulfil their potential and does not exclude any athlete based upon qualifying scores, but rather divisions the athletes based on those scores for fair competition against others of like ability.

For Special Olympics athletes’ excellence is personal achievement, a reflection of reaching one's maximum potential-- a goal to which everyone can aspire.

To participate in the Paralympic Games, athletes have to fulfil certain criteria and meet certain qualifying standards in order to be eligible.

These criteria and standards are sports-specific and are determined by the IPC Sports Chairpersons, the Sports Technical Delegates and the relevant international sports organizations. The Paralympics are about elite performance sport, where athletes go through a stringent qualification process so that the best, or highest qualified based on performance, can compete at the Games.


Support Special Olympics

Help us reach one more athlete.

DONATE NOW»

Become a Volunteer

Find out about the many ways you can get involved in the Special Olympics programs nearest you. There are 58 country-level offices in the Europe/Eurasia region.

FIND A LOCATION NEAR YOU»

Follow Us

Help us reach out to one more athlete.

Donate »

Find events near you and learn about volunteer opportunities at one of our 220 worldwide locations.

FIND A LOCATION NEAR YOU »

Videos and Photos

DifferentBarry Cairns tells what it's like to be a Special Olympics athlete.Watch Video »


Videos and Photos

SpeechlessSpecial Olympics changed her life in deep and meaningful ways.Watch Video »


Videos and Photos

Summer GamesAround the world, months of practice are paying off.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Photos on FBSee photos and comments from our supporters around the world.See Photos »


Videos and Photos

Hope in HaitiLeo and Gedeon play in makeshift fields, tent towns, wherever they can.Watch Video »


Videos and Photos

Finding His VoiceDavid Egan has always dreamed big. Now look at him!Learn More »


Videos and Photos

Sport Teaches UsOur life-changing work is fueled by the power of sport.Watch Video »


Videos and Photos

Making SuccessDoctors said Lani is “never going to achieve anything.” Learn More »


Videos and Photos

Very Very SpecialMusic helps Special Olympics make an impact worldwide.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Around The WorldGreat photos of Special Olympics events and people.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Focus on ChangeWhat we do can't be done without our partners.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Power of SportsSports are a powerful way to change our athlete’s lives.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

What We DoSports, health, education, community and more.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Who We AreWe are athletes, families, celebs, volunteers and more.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Summer SportsOur athletes run, jump, swim and score in summer.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Playing UnifiedUnified Sports reveals strengths in every team member.Watch Video »


Videos and Photos

Healthier AthletesOur free health clinics are making a huge difference.Watch Video »


Videos and Photos

Deon NamisebHe's a speaker and role model. It didn't start that way in Namibia.Learn More »


Special Olympics Blog

A Powerful Prescription

"Physical activity is the closest thing we have to a wonder drug."read more »

Posted on 2014-05-06 by Healthy Athletes

go to blog »


*

Special Olympics - Become a Fan