Download This Sample
This sample is exclusively for KidsKonnect members!
To download this worksheet, click the button below to signup for free (it only takes a minute) and you'll be brought right back to this page to start the download!
Sign Me Up
Table of Contents
The Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, providing year-round training and competitions to over 4.2 million athletes in 170 countries.
See the fact file below for more information on the Special Olympics or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Special Olympics worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- The Special Olympics is an international organization and competition held every two years. They alternate between Summer and Winter Games.
- These Olympics are for people who have intellectual disabilities. There are also local, national, and regional competitions in over 150 countries worldwide.
- In June 1962, Eunice Kennedy Shriver started a summer 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.
- The first International Special Olympics Summer Games were held at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois, USA, on July 19–20, 1968. One thousand individuals with intellectual disabilities from 26 US states and Canada competed in track and field and swimming.
- Anne McGlone Burke, a physical education teacher with the Chicago Park District, had the idea for a one-time Olympic-style athletic competition for people with special needs. She then approached Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Both women are considered the founders of the Special Olympics.
- In December 1971, the US Olympic Committee gave the Special Olympics official approval as one of only two organizations authorized to use the name “Olympics” in the United States.
- Athletes from 150 countries train and participate in the Special Olympics.
- Three million athletes participate around the world.
- The Special Olympics motto is “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”
- The Special Olympics offers over 30 Olympic-type individual and team sports that provide meaningful training and competition opportunities for persons with intellectual disabilities.
- The 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games took place in Dublin, Ireland, led by Ireland’s President Mary McAleese. It was the first special summer event outside of the United States.
- About 7,000 athletes from 150 countries competed for over 18 disciplines.
- To show support to the community, President George W. Bush signed into law the “Special Olympics Sport and Empowerment Act,” Public Law 108-406 on October 30, 2004.
- It authorized funding of $15 million per year over five years to fund the growth of Special Olympics and support initiatives that foster respect and understanding for people with intellectual disabilities.
- The logo is based on Joy and Happiness to All the Children of the World, a sculpture by Zurab Tsereteli, a gift to SUNY Brockport University when it hosted the Special Olympics in 1979.
- The logo depicts five figures in a unifying circle, symbolizing our global presence.
- The figures’ arms in a lowered position symbolize the time when many people were unaware of the talents and abilities of adults and children with intellectual disabilities, before the founding of Special Olympics.
- The straight arms describe a greater equality and outreach while raised arms represent “joy”, and continued realization of ultimate goals.
- This symbol is usually seen during the Special Olympics World Games, held every two years, alternating with Summer and Winter Games.
The Olympics’ Mission and Oath
- The Mission: “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.” https://www.specialolympics.org/about/faq
- The oath “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt” emphasizes the importance of effort and trying for one’s personal best.
- Eunice Kennedy Shriver recited the Special Olympics athlete oath on July 20, 1968, on the opening of the very first Special Olympics International Games.
Participants and Events
- According to the specialolympics.org:
“to be eligible to participate in Special Olympics, you must be at least 8 years old and identified by an agency or professional as having one of the following conditions: intellectual disabilities, cognitive delays as measured by formal assessment, or significant learning or vocational problems due to cognitive delay that require or have required specially designed instruction.”
- In competitions, sport games are structured so that athletes compete with other athletes of a similar gender, age, and ability in equal divisions.
- Events include: alpine skiing, athletics, badminton, basketball, bocce, bowling, competitive cheer, cricket, cross country skiing, cycling, dancesport, equestrian, figure skating, floorball, floor hockey, football, golf, gymnastics, handball, judo, kayaking, netball, powerlifting, roller skating, sailing, snowboarding, speed skating, snowshoeing, softball, swimming, table tennis, tennis, triathlon, and volleyball.
Special Olympics Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle that includes everything you need to know about The Special Olympics across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Special Olympics, the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, providing year-round training and competitions to over 4.2 million athletes in 170 countries.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Special Olympics Facts
- Disability Access Symbols
- Special Olympics Icons
- Make it Special
- Big Event
- Stay Healthy!
- Faces of Triumph
- Revolution is Inclusion
- Make it Right
- We Are Special
Link/cite this page
If you reference any of the content on this page on your own website, please use the code below to cite this page as the original source.
Link will appear as Special Olympics Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, August 21, 2021
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.