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Special Olympics is a global organization that serves athletes with intellectual disabilities working with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches each year. Since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968, the number of people with and without intellectual disabilities who are involved with the organization has been growing, but the unmet need to reach more people with intellectual disabilities is staggering. 

The Power of Sport. For every Special Olympics athlete, there are many more waiting for their chance. Help us reach one more person who wants to participate. Download Program Fact Sheet

It’s at the local level--right here--where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place. Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.

Sports Offered


News and Stories


July 19, 2017 | North America: Louisiana

Louisiana Athlete Receives Honorary ESPY

By Casey Minton

Special Olympics Louisiana athlete Craig Blackburn was presented with an honorary ESPY Award on 12 July.View Story To honor her work and her creation of Special Olympics, Eunice Kennedy Shriver was posthumously honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at The 25th ESPYS Presented by Capital One on Wednesday, July 12.As part of the 25th annual ESPYS event, Special Olympics athletes around the United States were honored with local ESPY Awards. These honorees were recognized by the ESPYS organizers and their Programs as “amazing, inspirational athletes.” Each athlete received a letter of commendation, along with an ESPYS statuette.Special Olympics Louisiana athlete, Craig Blackburn, of Metairie, LA was one of those few honorees. Blackburn is a 38 year old athlete who competes in bowling, bocce, aquatics, and basketball. He has participated in Special Olympics for over twenty years.“Don't ever give up. Winning the ESPY shows that success does come in trying!” he said.Blackburn is also a devoted Winn Dixie Supermarket employee of 18 years, owns his own home, and is married. In addition to competing regularly, Blackburn also serves on Special Olympics Athlete Leadership Council.

About Casey Minton:I am the Director of Comms & Marketing for Special Olympics Louisiana
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July 14, 2017 | North America: Louisiana

Cam at the Pro-Am

By Camrin Sandoz

My Dad and I reading the putt.

I had the best time in the Washington DC area playing two rounds of golf.View Story I had the best time in the Washington DC area playing two rounds of golf. One round was at the Perfect Sense Pro-Am and the other was the Brightspot Unified Golf Tournament. I got to meet new friends on and off the course and got to hang out with them, even went to Top Golf. I got to play golf with PGA Professional DA Points and Sergeant Jason Roberts who was in the Marines in Afghanistan. When we finished our round of golf, I gave Jason my Gold Medal from my State Tournament to tell him thank you for serving our country so we could be free and play golf with our friends. We also were able to explore the Washington DC monuments and spend the afternoon at the museums. The best part of the trip was being on the Red Team and getting a trophy for beating the Blue Team!

About Camrin Sandoz:Hi my name is Camrin Sandoz my friends call me Cam. I am on Team Louisiana Unified Softball where I will be traveling to Seattle to compete next July in the USA games.
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July 10, 2017 | North America: Louisiana

Craig Blackburn

By Special Olympics Staff

Craig faced many health challenges as a baby; doctors told Craig’s mother that he wouldn’t live past the age of 1. He’s now 38.View Story Craig faced many health challenges as a baby; doctors told Craig’s mother that he wouldn’t live past the age of 1. He’s now 38 years old and competes in bowling, bocce, and basketball. He has been a Special Olympics Louisiana athlete since 1996. He is a high school graduate and served as manager of his high school football team. Craig owns his own home, and is a long-time employee of Winn Dixie supermarkets. Craig is an international spokesperson and advocate for the Down Syndrome Association of New Orleans and he has marched in Washington, D.C. to advocate for rights for people with disabilities.

About Special Olympics Staff:Special Olympics is a global movement that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports, every day around the world. We empower people with intellectual disabilities to become accepted and valued members of their communities, which leads to a more respectful and inclusive society for all.
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2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games

Athens, Greece, was the home of the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games. That year, it was the world’s largest sporting event for athletes with intellectual disabilities. See results by athlete, delegation and bib number.

Areas Served

The parishes of Acadia, Allen, Ascension, Assumption, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Calcasieu, Caldwell, Cameron, Catahoula, Claiborne, Concordia, De Soto, East Baton Rouge, East Carroll, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Franklin, Grant, Iberia, Iberville, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Jefferson, La Salle, Lafayette, Lafourche, Lincoln, Livingston, Madison, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Orleans, Ouachita, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, Rapides, Red River, Richland, Sabine, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Tensas, Terrebonne, Union, Vermilion, Vernon, Washington, Webster, West Baton Rouge, West Carroll, West Feliciana, Winn