Countdown to the Games
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17-25 June 2023

About Special Olympics

Unifying power of sport

Special Olympics is a global inclusion movement. All over the world, we are changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. The highlight is the Special Olympics World Games every two years. And we do more: around the world, we support people with intellectual disabilities through health, education and skills development programs.

The photo shows Eunice Kennedy Shriver cheering with an athlete.
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The photo shows Eunice Kennedy Shriver with female athletes. They are sitting on the stairs.
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The photo shows Eunice Kennedy Shriver. She sits between athletes and follows a basketball game.
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The photo shows Eunice Kennedy Shriver cheering on an athlete doing long jump.
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The photo shows Eunice Kennedy Shriver and a basketball team during the 1972 Special Olympics World Games with a basketball.
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Pioneering spirit for more inclusion

In 1968, one thousand athletes from the USA and Canada marched into the stadium with flags and banners at the first Special Olympics World Games. The founder of Special Olympics, Eunice Kennedy Shriver spent her life campaigning for more rights and acceptance for people with intellectual disabilities.

Today, Special Olympics is the world's largest sports movement for people with intellectual disabilities, with more than 5 million athletes in 174 countries, and is officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).