About Special Olympics

Special Olympics Greater Memphis’ mission is 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.

History

The global Special Olympics movement started on July 20, 1968, when the first International Special Olympics Games were held at Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois, USA. However the concept of Special Olympics was thought of much earlier, when Eunice Kennedy Shriver started a day camp for people with intellectual disabilities at her home in 1962. For more information about Special Olympics visit www.specialolympics.org.

Goal

The ultimate goal of Special Olympics is to help persons with intellectual disabilities participate as productive and respected members of society at large by offering them a fair opportunity to develop and demonstrate their skills and talents through sports training and competition and by increasing the public’s awareness of their capabilities and needs.

Sports

Special Olympics Greater Memphis conducts 19 programs providing 13 different sports throughout the year. Full participation is granted to every athlete regardless of his or her economic circumstances. Over 2,500 Special Olympics athletes are registered with Special Olympics Greater Memphis.