Fifty years is an impressive milestone. Since 1968, Special Olympics has been enriching the lives of athletes with an intellectual disability through sport. Today, Special Olympics provides year-round training and competitions to 5.7 million athletes in more than 170 countries.
It empowers and encourages these athletes, who, in turn, inspire others with their determination and achievements.
Special Olympics couldn't have made it this far, it needs your help today.
For 50 years, Special Olympics has unified, empowered, and celebrated the abilities of children, youth and adults. It has provided comfort and understanding you don't get anywhere else. Just think about how many athletes and families Special Olympics has helped over the course of 50 years!
The youngsters you see in the video above will continue to grow and flourish, in Special Olympics programs like Active Start (ages 2-6) and FUNdamentals (7-12). Athletes are never too young, OR too old to participate – everyone is welcome, and everyone belongs. Special Olympics is very proud of all the athletes, whether they compete at major games, or local/invitational competition in their community, we will give them an opportunity to shine and showcase their skills.
The Active Start program has grown immensely over the years. In fact, Alma (pictured above) joined the program at 2 years of age. Alma is now 6 and flourishing – here’s a little information from Alma’s mother:
“As a baby, Alma was diagnosed with Williams Syndrome—a developmental disorder that affects many parts of the body and causes an intellectual disability. There are no words to describe what it felt like to discover that my child’s health, cognition, and development would be affected for the rest of her life. You can’t prepare yourself for news like that.
Today though, Alma sparkles in all that she does. She is constantly surprising me with what she is able to accomplish. As a donor to Special Olympics Ontario, you are part of the caring group of people who are helping Alma to thrive.
Alma joined Special Olympics when she was only two. She’s such a lucky girl to be able to participate. The Active Start program has helped her develop her fine and gross motor skills, make new friends, and experience all the benefits that sport can bring.
At Active Start, there are no timelines put on a child’s development. No one complains that a child is holding the others back. Instead, every parent and volunteer cheers on every child, creating a place where everyone truly belongs.
By attending Active Start, and more recently the FUNdamentals school program, Alma has learned to keep going no matter what. She’s thrown balls, hopped, danced, played baseball, and swam. She doesn’t have a tantrum if an activity gets difficult. She doesn’t quit. Instead, she just keeps going . . . inch by inch, foot by foot, Alma continues to move forward at her own pace.
No matter what, Alma keeps striving to accomplish more. It’s beautiful to watch.
Someday, I would love to have the chance to see Alma compete as a Special Olympics athlete. Whether she plays baseball, swims, or does rhythmic gymnastics, I know that she’ll have found a life-long connection to an organization that believes in her.
You can help make this happen for other people with an intellectual disability by making a generous gift today. Your support will help so many athletes to follow their dreams.”
Special Olympics Ontario (SOO) is a registered Canadian charity in good standing with Canada Revenue Agency. SOO’s charitable business number is: 11906 8435 RR0001. All donations over $10.00 are tax deductible and will receive an official receipt for income tax purposes. All donations will be processed in Canadian Dollars.