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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

  • Aquatics 
  • Athletics 
  • Basketball
  • Bocce 
  • Bowling 
  • Floor Hockey 
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball 

News and Stories


January 03, 2018 | North America: Southern California

i am an athlete

By robert culp

i am athlete in special Olympics southern California. my name is Robert Michael visin culp. I had a mother named Alicia melody rugley. I play for the Pasadena ducks. I play basketball soccer and bowling. I love to buy things in the community. I sometimes go to an atm machine. I sometimes buy food inView Story i am athlete in special Olympics southern California. my name is Robert Michael visin culp. I had a mother named Alicia melody rugley. I play for the Pasadena ducks. I play basketball soccer and bowling. I love to buy things in the community. I sometimes go to an atm machine. I sometimes buy food in the community. I love the tournaments for basketball soccer and bowling. I love the special Olympics festival for basketball soccer and bowling. I love the ktla booth for special Olympics. my favorite thing is the prize wheel taking pictures and beautiful women.

About robert culp:my name is Robert culp. I love the end of the year party hosted by the Pasadena ducks. I love the food. I love the dessert. I love getting presents.
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December 27, 2017 | North America: Southern California

My Son

By Kim Martin

My son is 18 and has severe autism. He also has an intellectual disability and a very low IQ. He also has many other health issues. The R word has always been taboo to me even as I grew up. Sadly after my son was diagnosed I heard the word so often, even from professionals that were supposed to bView Story My son is 18 and has severe autism. He also has an intellectual disability and a very low IQ. He also has many other health issues. The R word has always been taboo to me even as I grew up. Sadly after my son was diagnosed I heard the word so often, even from professionals that were supposed to be helping him. It was so hurtful to hear and to have my son ask what it meant hurt him as well. We are supposed to be building ourselves up not tearing one another down. I'm so super proud of my little man and all he has accomplished even when they said he wouldn't or couldn't!

About Kim Martin:I am a mom to three beautiful kids. My oldest son is special needs and just a joy in my life.
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December 01, 2017 | North America: Southern California

My Son Wins Gold Medals in Tennis

By Shelley Marks Kramer, Mom

My 29 year old son, Andrew Sean Kramer, achieved another gold medal (his third) in Special Olympics fall games in Southern California. We are so proud of him. He won 2 gold medals and one silver in all the tournaments he has played in. He was told at birth, born with cerebral palsey,View Story My 29 year old son, Andrew Sean Kramer, achieved another gold medal (his third) in Special Olympics fall games in Southern California. We are so proud of him. He won 2 gold medals and one silver in all the tournaments he has played in. He was told at birth, born with cerebral palsey, that he may never walk or talk. He achieved more than expected, attended the UCLA pathway program in 2007 to 2009 for people with disabilities to have a UCLA college experience. He was valedictorian of the first class. He graduated Santa Monica college with honors with a degree in business and leadership.

About Shelley Marks Kramer, Mom:We had Andrew born three months early on January 8, 1988, after have 4 different miscarriages. He was told by doctors that he may never walk or talk, and he proved them all wrong. Lettered in varsity in baseball high school, graduated a UCLA program for people with disabilities as valedictorian, graduated Santa Monica college with honors degree in business and leadership. We have been supported of everything he has done in his life, gave him no limitations on what he could achieve. He is the best kid in the world, compassionate, articulate, full of a true heart, always positive and giving to others.
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2014 USA Games

The 2014 Special Olympics USA Games ran June 14-21. See results and stories.

Jun 25 - Jul 4 2011 2011 Summer Games Athens, Greece

Areas Served

Antelope Valley, Barstow, Desert, East San Gabriel Valley, Fairview Developmental Center, Greater San Bernardino, Greater Los Angeles, Imperial Valley, Kern/Inyo Counties, Lanterman Developmental Center, Long Beach, Los Angeles Region, Mojave, Morongo Basin, Northern Santa Barbara, Orange County, Pasadena, Pomona Valley, Riverside Area, Riverside/San Bernardino Regions, San Diego, San Gabriel Valley Region, San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County, Santa Clarita Valley, South Bay, Southeast Los Angeles, Temecula Valley, Tri-Valley, Ventura County, Western San Bernardino, and Westside. More...