Our Mission


The Special Olympics mission remains as vital today as it did when the movement was founded 50 years ago in 1968. We provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. This gives 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.

Our program, however, is about more than sports. We envision a world in which people with intellectual disabilities lead healthy, vibrant lives grounded in ongoing sports and physical activity, sound nutrition and a deeply held conviction to improve, compete, achieve and demonstrate their personal best to themselves and their community. Our current strategic plan is focused on program quality, improved athlete performance, increased funding and harnessing digital technology to expand programs.

With approximately half of the world's population under the age of 25, young people are critical to addressing many of society's most pressing issues. This new generation brings creativity, energy and an openness to change, and Special Olympics seeks to harness this power. As catalysts for change, youth with and without intellectual disabilities are vital owners of the inclusion revolution, and when empowered and unified by veteran supporters of our movement, they will be unstoppable.

No longer is it enough to provide a place for people of all abilities to come together through sport. It is time to demand uncompromising inclusion— in school, employment, healthcare, social activities and yes, sports, too. For our uprising to succeed, we need more rebels, heroes, and fighters like you.

Consider this your recruitment letter. Join us in the inclusion revolution!