Courtesy of Special Olympics, Inc.
The mission of Special Olympics is 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
fi tness, demonstrate courage,
experience joy and participate in a
sharing of gifts, skills and friendship
with their families, other Special Olympics
athletes and the community.
What Is an Intellectual Disability?
Intellectual disability (ID) is a term used to describe certain limitations in cognitive
functioning and other skills, including communication and self-care. These limitations
can cause a child to develop and learn more slowly or diff erently. An intellectual
disability is the most common developmental disability.
• There are as many as 200 million people with intellectual disabilities
around the world.
• Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization for individuals
with intellectual disabilities.
• Special Olympics serves roughly 4.9 million athletes in 172 countries.
• More than 1 million people volunteer for Special Olympics worldwide.
• Special Olympics works to transcend all boundaries of race, gender, religion,
national origin, economics, geography and political philosophy to serve all
eligible individuals around the world – for free.
8 Special Olympics Northern California