Special Olympics supports over 5 million athletes, 1 million coaches and volunteers, more than 100,000 competitions each year, and 32 Olympic-type sports through programs in more than 170 countries.
Special Olympics offers 30-plus Olympic-style individual and team sports that provide meaningful training and competition opportunities for persons with intellectual disabilities.
About 1.4 million people worldwide take part in Unified Sports, breaking down stereotypes about people with intellectual disabilities in a really fun way.3 Min Read
Special Olympics Young Athletes is an early childhood play program for children with and without intellectual disabilities, ages 2 to 7 years old.2 Min Read
Special Olympics Unified Schools promote social inclusion by building friendships and understanding among young people with and without intellectual disabilities. Using sports as a motivator and springboard, Unified Schools offer a range of activities and training that equip young people with the interpersonal tools, skills, and attitudes to foster confidence and acceptance in sporting events, classrooms, and communities.
Coaches teach the skills and spirit that define a true athlete. Coaches are role models and character-builders. Learn more about becoming a Special Olympics Coach.2 Min Read
When people speak of the origin of Special Olympics, they look no further than the first Camp Shriver—founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver in the early 1960s. They talk of one woman's dream that started in her own backyard.2 Min Read
Major Special Olympics competitions are held around the world each year to bring together athletes contending to be the best in their sports. In 2019, the United Arab Emirates hosted the first World Games in the Middle East in Abu Dhabi. The next World Games will be in Berlin, Germany in 2023.