Inspire Greatness!

About Special Olympics
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The Special Olympics concept was born in the early 1960's when Eunice Kennedy Shriver started a day camp for people with mental challenges. Mrs. Shriver witnessed the great joy campers experienced when playing sports and resolved to create a program which would both meet physical fitness needs and boost self-esteem. Under her direction, the First Special Olympics Games were held at Soldier field in Chicago, IL July 19-20, 1968. The Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation and the Chicago Park District hosted the historic event which saw 1,000 athletes from 26 states and Canada compete in track and field, and aquatics.

For more than 30 years, millions of children and adults with mental challenges have participated in Special Olympics events. Around the world, there are Special Olympics programs in more that 150 countries and in all 50 states in this country. Over 15,000 Games, meets and tournaments in both summer and winter sports are held each year in communities worldwide. Chapters hold games annually, while national programs hold game annually or biannually. World Games take place every two years, alternating between winter and summer sports.

In Nebraska

We offer over 19 different competitive sports for all levels of ability. Our 3,000 Special Olympics athletes practice and compete year-round in 81 communities across the state. Special Olympics Nebraska is about providing our athletes the opportunity to shine and express the very special gifts they have within! There are currently more than 6,000 volunteers across Nebraska that make it all happen for our athletes -- and we can always use more since our number of athletes continue to grow every year.