Special Olympics

Special Olympics is an international organization that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports every day around the world.

Through work in sports, health education and community building, Special Olympics is addressing inactivity, injustice, intolerance and social isolation by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities which leads to a more welcoming and inclusive society.

Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement currently encompasses more than 4.7 million athletes in 169 countries. With the support of more than one million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics is able to deliver 30+ Olympic-type sports and more than 70,000 competitions through the year.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) for Special Olympics is the movement’s largest grass-roots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle in the world. In 2017, dedicated law enforcement volunteers raised $58 million for Special Olympics programs around the world. Over $733 million has been raised since the inception of the LETR. More than 97,000 law enforcement members from 109 LETR programs in 42 countries contribute to LETR efforts annually as Guardians of the Flame®, ensuring the delivery of the Special Olympics competitions, state/provincial Games, and national/regional Games.