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Special Olympics is a global movement that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sport, every day around the world. Through sports, health, education and community programming, Special Olympics is tackling inactivity, intolerance, isolation and injustice that people throughout the world face, especially people with intellectual disabilities.
The athletes of Special Olympics -- nearly 20,000 strong here in Pennsylvania -- are constant reminders of all that is right with the human spirit.
The mission of Special Olympics PA is to provide year-round sports training and 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.
All training and competition opportunities are provided free of charge to the athletes and their families, enabling everyone to experience the benefits of Special Olympics that extend well beyond the playing field.
Special Olympics was created by the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation. Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) is authorized and accredited by Special Olympics Inc. for the benefit of persons with intellectual disabilities.
Our Vision and Goals
Special Olympics envisions a world where people with intellectual disabilities lead healthy, vibrant lives grounded in ongoing sports and physical activities, sound nutrition and a deeply held commitment to improve, compete, achieve and demonstrate their personal bests to themselves and their communities.
Special Olympics envisions a world where people with intellectual disabilities – and their families -- know the best ways to optimize their health and well-being. We want to make sure that accessible information, resources, systems and policies exist at the individual, community, national and global levels that support them in realizing healthy and productive lives.
Special Olympics envisions a world in which people with intellectual disabilities are leaders in engendering and sustaining acceptance and respect within schools and communities. We do this through Special Olympics’ inclusive sports, fitness and youth activation programs.