Special Olympics Italia
Special Olympics is an international program of training and athletic competition for people with intellectual disabilities. Sports can offer continuous opportunities to demonstrate courage and skills and can become an effective instrument of social recognition and gratification. It can be good training for life and gives Special Olympics athletes the opportunity to enhance their skills and spend them productively for social purposes. It is a hope message for millions of people, their families and entire communities. The founder is Eunice Kennedy, who in 1968 gave the official start to the movement with its First International Games in Chicago, Illinois. Today, Special Olympics is recognized by the International Olympic Committee, and its programs are adopted in more than 170 countries. Special Olympics Italy, recognized by the Italian Sport Committee CONI and by the CIP, has been present on the Italian territory for over thirty years and operates in all regions. Italian Teams Special Olympics are spread all over the country to prepare athletes in the following sports: Athletics, Basketball, Bocce, Bowling, Football, Boating, Horse Riding, Artistic and Rhythmic Gymnastics, Golf, Indoor Rowing, Swimming, Open Water, Volleyball Unified, Tennis, Running with Snowshoes, Alpine Skiing, Nordic Skiing and Snowboarding. There are 14,077 athletes and 10,302 volunteers who annually contribute to the organization of 194 events. 271 are accredited teams. The oath that a Special Olympics athlete must take is: I hope to win but if I don't, I shall try with all my strength.