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 more than 4.5 million athletes in 170 countries. Special Olympics competitions are held every day, all around the world—including local, national and regional competitions, adding up to more than 94,000 events a year. Like the International Paralympic Committee, the Special Olympics organization is recognized by the International Olympic Committee; however, unlike the same Paralympic Games, Special Olympics World Games are not held in conjunction with the Olympic Games, and regional Special Olympics committees are not closely modeled on national olympic committees.

These competitions include the Special Olympics World Games, which alternate between summer and winter games. Special Olympics World Games are held every two years. The most recent World Summer Games were the Special Olympics World Summer Games, held in Los Angeles, California (The largest event in LA since the 1984 Olympic Games), from July 25, 2015 to August 2, 2015 and for the first time were part of ESPN daily coverage.

The most recent Special Olympics World Winter Games were held in Pyeongchang, South Korea from January 29 to February 5, 2013. At the same time, the first Special Olympics Global Development Summit was held on “Ending the Cycle of Poverty and Exclusion for People with Intellectual Disabilities,” gathering government officials, activists and business leaders from around the world.