Mission...The mission of Special Olympics Ohio is to provide year-round sports training and competition opportunities for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
Benefits...Special Olympics contributes to the physical, social, and psychological development of the athletes. Through successful experiences in sports, they gain confidence and build a positive self-image which carries over into the classroom, home, job and community.
History...The concept of Special Olympics began in the early 1960's when Eunice Kennedy Shriver started a day camp for individuals with intellectual disabilities. The first national meet was held at Soldier Field in Chicago in 1968 for 1,000 athletes from the United States and Canada. Shortly thereafter, Ohio began a Special Olympics program under the name of the Ohio Athletic Association. Special Olympics Ohio became incorporated in 1975. Today, there are Special Olympics programs in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 150 different countries around the world.
Participants...Special Olympics Ohio has approximately 200 local member organizations and over 23,000 athletes who are in training and competition. These organizations originate from County Boards of MR/DD, public schools, developmental centers, parks and recreation departments, churches and parent and community groups.