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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 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 is founded on the belief that people with intellectual disabilities can, with proper instruction and encouragement, learn, enjoy and benefit from participation in individual and team sports, adapted as necessary to meet the needs of those with special intellectual and physical limitations.
Special Olympics believes that consistent training is indispensable to the development of sports skills, and that competition among those of equal abilities is the most appropriate means of testing these skills, measuring progress and providing incentives for personal growth.
Special Olympics believes that through sports training and competition people with intellectual disabilities are benefited physically, mentally, socially and spiritually, families are strengthened, and the community at large, both through participation and observation, is united in understanding with intellectual disabilities in an environment of equality, respect and acceptance.