Visual Encyclopedia

Special Olympics

Special Olympics is the world's largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, providing year-round training and competitions to 5.7 million athletes and Unified Sports partners in 172 countries. Special Olympics competitions are held every day, all around the world—including local, national and regional competitions, adding up to more than 100,000 events a year. Like the International Paralympic Committee, the Special Olympics organization is recognized by the International Olympic Committee; however, unlike the Paralympic Games, Special Olympics World Games are not held in the same year or in conjunction with the Olympic Games.

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The Special Olympics also oversees unified sports teams within schools. In Rhode Island, for example, there is about 30 unified basketball teams. There are athletes, and peers to help out. They travel just like a regular varsity team, play full games, have playoffs, and even a championship game. It is wonderful to watch and even more amazing to be apart of!

Contributed by Amanda Dawn Cleveland

Special Olympics is an amazing organization that helps people with disabilities reach their dreams. Don't know what it is? Watch this video to spread awareness and think about volunteering at the Special Olympics of North Carolina Summer Games June 1-2! :)

Contributed by Deema Al-Ghandour

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