Special Olympics is a global organization that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sport, every day around the world. Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit organization offering year-round training and competition in 18 sports for more than 23,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities and over 13,000 Young Athletes ages 2-7 with and without intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics transforms the lives of people with intellectual disabilities, allowing them to realize their full potential in sports and in life. Special Olympics programs enhance physical fitness, motor skills, self-confidence, social skills and encourage family and community support.
Special Olympics began in Illinois with the first games at Soldier Field in July 1968 thanks to the efforts of Eunice Kennedy Shriver and her peers. There are now more than 4.5 million athletes in 170 countries. Special Olympics is financially sound with diverse revenue streams, a thorough annual budget process and increasing organizational revenue streams. Special Olympics Illinois does not charge athletes or their families to participate in the program.
Through sports, our athletes celebrate their abilities, not their disabilities. Their world opens with acceptance and understanding, while becoming confident and empowered by their accomplishments. They make new friends, joining the most inclusive community on the planet – a global community that’s growing every day.
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.
Special Olympics Illinois (SOILL) will be a global leader in shaping a culture where people with and without intellectual disabilities are fully integrated into the community by providing year round opportunities in competitive sports, health education, leadership and personal development.
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