All About :: Special Olympics MENA Games
Who We Are
Special Olympics is an international organization dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit, productive and respected members of society through sports training and competition.Special Olympics offers children and adults with intellectual disabilities year-round training and competition in summer & winter sports Games. There is no charge to participate in Special Olympics. Special Olympics currently serves more than 2.5 million persons with intellectual disabilities in more than 200 Programs in more than 165 countries globally and 20 Programs in 20 countries in the MENA region. An initial census of athlete participation conducted in that year established a baseline count of athletes worldwide.
Eunice Mary Kennedy Shriver
Important Special Olympics Milestones
Middle East and North Africa
Special Olympics' work has been expanding rapidly in the Middle East/North Africa Region -- including our Health and Family programs, Athlete Leadership and Unified Sports
An Athlete's Dream Becomes a National Surprise for Egypt
On the evening before the opening ceremony for the big Middle East-North Africa Regional Games, a Special Olympics basketball player named Abdel Menam Saad El Deen was asked about his hopes and dreams. The question came on a TV program called Cairo 360. Menam said he wanted to meet the president of Egypt, and he added that he would invite the president to the opening ceremony. To everyone’s surprise,
Eunice Kennedy Shriver starts a summer day camp for children and adults with intellectual disabilities at her home in Maryland to explore their capabilities in a variety of sports and physical activities.
20 July 1968
Together with the Chicago Park District, the Kennedy Foundation plans and underwrites the First International Special Olympics Summer Games, held in Chicago's Soldier Field, with 1,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities from 26 states and Canada competing in athletics, floor hockey, and aquatics.
Special Olympics, Inc. is established as a not-for-profit charitable organization under the laws of the District of Columbia. The National Association for Retarded Citizens, the Council for Exceptional Children, and the American Association on Mental Deficiency pledge their support for this first systematic effort to provide sports training and athletic competition for individuals with intellectual disabilities based on the Olympic tradition and spirit.
13-15 August 1970
The Second International Special Olympics Summer Games take place in Chicago, Illinois, with 2,000 athletes from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, France, and Puerto Rico.
13-18 August 1972
The Third International Special Olympics Summer Games take place at the University of California – Los Angeles with 2,500 participants.
7-11 August 1975
The Fourth International Special Olympics Summer Games take place at Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, with 3,200 athletes from 10 countries taking part. The Games are broadcast nationwide on CBS' "Sports Spectacular."
5-11 February 1977
The First International Special Olympics Winter Games are held in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, with more than 500 athletes competing in skiing and skating events. CBS, ABC, and NBC television networks cover the Games.
8-13 August 1979
The Fifth International Special Olympics Summer Games take place at the State University of New York at Brockport with more than 3,500 athletes from every state in the U.S. and more than 20 countries.
Special Olympics launches a training and certification program for coaches and publishes the first Sports Skills Guide.
12-18 July 1983
The Sixth International Special Olympics Summer Games are held at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. A crowd of more than 60,000 attends the Opening Ceremonies and approximately 4,000 athletes participate.
24-29 March 1985
Athletes from 14 countries are represented in skiing and skating events at the Third International Special Olympics Winter Games in Park City, Utah.
The International Year of Special Olympics, culminating in the 1987 International Special Olympics Summer Games, is launched at the United Nations in New York City under the banner "Special Olympics — Uniting the World."
More than 30,000 law enforcement officers from every state in the U.S. and seven countries run 26,000 miles in the Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics. The 1987 Torch Run raises more than $2 million.
14 February 1990
Sargent Shriver announces the historic decision by the Soviet Union to join the Special Olympics movement. Special Olympics is the first charitable organization to implement such a program at local and national levels in the USSR.
30 September 1992
Special Olympics kicks off its 25th Anniversary Celebration — "Together We Win" — at the United Nations in New York City, where the 25th Anniversary Traveling Exhibit is officially launched before beginning a nationwide tour.