- Published on 26 February 2015
The power of sport to change lives is clear in the joy visible on the face of Matthias Puetz of Germany after his snowboarding performance during the 2013 World Winter Games in Korea. Photo by Diego Azubel
The mission of Special Olympics 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.
The Vision of Special Olympics
Special Olympics is an unprecedented global movement which, through quality sports training and competition, improves the lives of people with intellectual disabilities and, in turn, the lives of everyone they touch.
Special Olympics empowers people with intellectual disabilities to realize their full potential and develop their skills through year-round sports training and competition.
As a result, Special Olympics athletes become fulfilled and productive members of their families and the communities in which they live.
Special Olympics is an experience that is energizing, healthy, skillful, welcoming and joyful.
Today, Special Olympics stands as a leader in the field of intellectual disability and has sharpened the focus on its mission as not just "nice," but critical, not just as a sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities, but also as an effective catalyst for social change. Children and adults with intellectual disabilities who participate in Special Olympics exhibit boundless courage and enthusiasm, enjoy the rewards of friendship and ultimately discover not only new abilities and talents but "their voices" as well.