Our History

The idea behind Special Olympics began in the early 1960s, when Eunice Kennedy Shriver saw how unjustly and unfairly people with intellectual disabilities were treated. She also saw that many children with special needs didn’t have a place to play and she took action.

Soon, her vision began to take shape, as she held a summer camp for young people with intellectual disabilities in her own backyard. The goal was to learn what these children could do in sports and other activities, and not dwell on what they could not do.