This_Week_in_Special_Olympics_History
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1/1/2018Jan. 2000: Special Olympics welcomes the new millennium with the ambitious “Campaign for Special Olympics” -- aimed at increasing athlete participation by 1 million and raising more than $120 million over a five-year period. This global campaign changes the face of the Special Olympics movement by expanding its reach by millions of athletes worldwide, especially in Africa, East Asia, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East -- plus awareness fueled by this ground-breaking PSA: https://www.dropbox.com/s/1aclp5c2py4m5ed/Jan2000-Campaign_for_Special_Olympics.mov?dl=0
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1/8/2018Jan. 2015: The newest class of Sargent Shriver International Global Messengers begins a four-year term. The program, launched in 1998, created a high-profile platform for the first global spokespeople with intellectual disabilities to represent Special Olympics through speaking engagements and appearances around the world. Meet the 12 members of the 2015-2019 International Global Messengers:  https://www.dropbox.com/s/hkudf0uftynsurq/Meet-the-IGMs.mp4?dl=0
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1/15/2018Jan. 1968. Anne McGlone (Burke) of the Chicago Park District travels to Washington, DC, to meet with Eunice Kennedy Shriver, president of the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr Foundation. They discuss plans for a possible national sports event for people with intellectual disabilities to be organized in Chicago, Illinois, USA. In a few short months, this plan will turn into the first International Special Olympics Summer Games in July 2018. Learn more in this BBC "Witness" video special: http://www.bbc.com/news/av/magazine-28895404/i-competed-at-the-first-ever-special-olympicsJan. 1997: Healthy Athletes becomes an official Special Olympics initiative, providing free health-care screenings to Special Olympics athletes. People with intellectual disabilities often receive inferior medical care -- or none at all. Hear how Healthy Athletes makes a huge difference -- to athletes and volunteers alike -- even in its early days: https://www.dropbox.com/s/e2dor92ssztdjvv/1990s-Healthy_Athletes-Berman-TPS.mp4?dl=0
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1/22/2018Jan. 2009: Timbo Shriver and Soeren Palumbo finalize plans for the first Spread the Word to End the Word campaign to end derogatory use of the 'R-word' (retard or retarded). This campaign for respect quickly goes viral on school campuses all around the world in the run-up to its official launch in March 2009. Inspiration for the campaign began with a ground-breaking speech about the power of words by Soeren, inspired by his sister, who has intellectual disabilities: https://www.dropbox.com/s/e856nzocltv387m/soeren_speech_2-min-clip.mp4?dl=0

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1/29/2018Feb. 1-4, 1999: Special Olympics Egypt hosts the first Middle East/North Africa Regional Games. Athletes and coaches attend from Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritania, Egypt and Jordan. Highlights include a unique pyramid cauldron lighting: https://www.dropbox.com/s/whondxz0q5thndq/1999_1st-MENA-Regional_Games-short-version.mp4?dl=0 (Longer version is here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ihqo7td8y4nfam2/1999-First_SO_MENA_Regional_Games-long.mp4?dl=0 )Jan. 30, 2013: Opening of the first Special Olympics Global Development Summit. The event brings together government officials, human rights activists, as well as leaders from the sports and business worlds to explore ways to "End the Cycle of Poverty and Exclusion for People with Intellectual Disabilities." The summit is held as part of the Special Olympics World Winter Games 2013.Jan. 29 - Feb. 5, 2013: The Special Olympics World Winter Games 2013 are held in PyeongChang, Republic of Korea. The Games attract an estimated 2,300 athletes from 100 countries.
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2/5/2018Feb. 5-11, 1977: The first International Special Olympics Winter Games are held in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, USA. Nearly 500 athletes from 38 U.S. states and Canada compete. CBS, ABC and NBC television networks cover the Games. Among athletes participating was Marty Sheets, who'd also attended the first International Summer Games in 1968. His dad recalls how Special Olympics helped Marty live 'a real life."https://www.dropbox.com/s/fhsp5elc3ps0qn2/1977-and-1968-athlete-Marty_Sheets.mp4?dl=0Feb. 5, 1962: US President John F. Kennedy announces “a bold new approach” to addressing the needs of people with mental retardation [intellectual disabilities]: the Maternal and Child Health and Mental Retardation Planning Act, which would grant $265 million in federal aid over five years to support programs for people with intellectual disabilities, and the Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Construction Act, which would grant $330 million over five years for new buildings to serve disabled citizens.
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2/12/2018Feb. 12, 1996: Loretta Claiborne receives the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at the annual ESPY Awards ceremony, sponsored by ESPN. She is the first Special Olympics athlete to receive this honor. Here's an excerpt from her video bio: https://www.dropbox.com/s/psyp85wsbebwhq9/1996-excerpt-Loretta_Ashe_Award-bio.mp4?dl=0 (Longer version is here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/s1or4peyfsjv9th/1996-Loretta-ASHE_Award_Intro-5min.mp4?dl=0 )Feb. 12, 2012: The National Basketball Association and Special Olympics, with the support of The Coca-Cola Company, holds the first annual NBA Cares Unified Sports Basketball game. The event takes place as part of the 2012 NBA All-Star weekend in Orlando, Florida, USA.
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2/19/2018Feb. 1989: Special Olympics begins testing a comprehensive training program for people with multiple intellectual disabilities who are unable to participate in official Special Olympics sports. The Motor Activity Training Program would quickly expand around the world, bringing joy and success to athletes of all abilities. See the MATP in action today: https://www.dropbox.com/s/bw9z9g99460f039/2017-Intro_to_MATP.mov?dl=0Feb. 1988: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) signs a historic agreement with Sargent and Eunice Kennedy Shriver officially endorsing and recognizing Special Olympics.
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2/26/2018March 1993: Special Olympics Zimbabwe and South Africa are the first programs in Africa to compete in Special Olympics World Winter Games. Special Olympics Zimbabwe is the first country in Africa invited to send athletes to compete in floor hockey at the Special Olympics World Winter Games, held in Austria, with an athlete invited to be part of the flame-lighting ceremony. Africa's athletes went on to compete in the next Winter Games as well, proudly -- as these photos show: https://www.dropbox.com/s/hwmzgrq4on83jv3/1993-1997-Africa-winter-sports-slideshow.mov?dl=0
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3/5/2018March 8, 1975: The first major Special Olympics benefit gala is held in Washington, D.C, with U.S. President Ford as honorary chairman and featuring a rare live performance by Barbra Streisand. A photo from the star-studded evening shows Barbra Streisand and Eunice Kennedy Shriver, along with Shriver's mother, Rose Kennedy, plus sisters Jean and Patricia and brother Sen. Ted Kennedy: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ec6x94utnrqiuj1/1975-Streisand-and-EKS-with-Rose_Kennedy-and%20-sisters.jpg?dl=0
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3/12/2018March 2013: The Special Olympics program in Bharat (India) welcomes its one-millionth registered athlete. The program coninues to touch lives all around India, including athletes like Ankush: https://www.dropbox.com/s/tk0i5ej7bli6tw5/ANKUSH-SD.mp4?dl=0
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3/19/2018March 20-27, 1993: The fifth Special Olympics World Winter Games, held in Salzburg and Schladming, Austria, are the first World Games held outside North America. See highlights of these historic Games: https://www.dropbox.com/s/0puwj5jgq2de7y0/1993_WG_2-min-highlights.mov?dl=0
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3/26/2018March 25-April 2, 2006: The first Regional multi-sport competition in Latin America is held: the Latin American Games in San Salvador, El Salvador. Javier Arancibia of Chile is the first Special Olympics athlete to serve as an official at a Regional competition. He makes his mark as a bocce official. Learn more about Javier: http://www.specialolympics.org/Stories/General/Javier_Salvador_Arancibia_Camilo.aspxMarch 26, 1984: At a ceremony held at the White House, President Ronald Reagan awards Special Olympics Founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver a Presidential Medal of Freedom to honor her work with Special Olympics and her efforts on behalf of persons with intellectual disabilities. See photo from the event: https://www.dropbox.com/s/y1kl6ulsix3lrbe/1984-March-EKS-and_Ronald_Reagan-Medal_of_Freedom.jpg?dl=0March 31, 2009. The first Spread the Word to End the Word Day is held. How does the R-word make people feel? See this early PSA: https://www.dropbox.com/s/sayaihzw3vhpz63/2009-First_Spread_the_Word_R-word-how-does-it-make-you-feel.mov?dl=0
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4/2/2018April 1-8, 1989: The Middle East/North Africa nation of Jordan marks its first participation in World Winter Games. Eunice Kennedy Shriver was among the fans at these Games, held in Lake Tahoe, Calif., and Reno, Nevada, USA: https://www.dropbox.com/s/gs6jynqwxfbz6kb/1989_WG-2-min-highlights.mp4?dl=0
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4/9/2018April 6-13, 1996: Special Olympics Egypt holds its first training seminar for 75 coaches with the cooperation of UNICEF, Special Olympics North Carolina and Special Olympics International. This would be a partnership that would grow through the years, covering many sports -- and even a practice run through the pyramids: https://www.dropbox.com/s/bn9obmbxsxywdky/1990s-Egypt-UNICEF-NC-compilation.mov?dl=0
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4/16/2018April 1959: JPK Jr. Foundation donates $1 million to establish the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Laboratories for Research on Mental Retardation at Massachusetts General Hospital -- the first center in the world to focus on research into mental retardation. Other grants are awarded to selected research centers nationwide, including Stanford and Georgetown universities, as well as to the First International Conference on Mental Retardation. Here's Eunice Kennedy Shriver, talking about how little attention was paid in those days to programs for young people with intellectual disabilities ("our special friends"): https://www.dropbox.com/s/wmibcgqi66a0079/4-16-EKS_nothing-for-our-special-friends.mov?dl=0
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4/23/2018April 1961: Newly elected US President John F. Kennedy makes research into programs for people with intellectual disabilities a priority of the new administration. The President’s health care transition team – working with Eunice Kennedy Shriver -- begins work on creation of a National Institute for Child Health and Human Development. See President Kennedy's remarks on the importance of this field, which has been too long ignored: https://www.dropbox.com/s/44pom94tbo2amza/1960s-JFK-comments-on-field_that_has_been-ignored.mov?dl=0
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4/30/2018April 30, 1970: Eunice Kennedy Shriver announces the second annual Special Olympics International Games will return to Soldier Field in Chicago. She thanks Mayor Daley, the Chicago Park District, and the people of Chicago for creating such a welcoming atmosphere for people with intellectual disabilities at the first Games in 1968. http://www.eunicekennedyshriver.org/articles/article/73 (NOTE: In 1970, the competition included a new sport: basketball https://www.dropbox.com/s/ldkae0wiioc738k/1970-WG-team-bball.tif?dl=0 )May 2, 1995: Sales begin for the first-ever Special Olympics World Games Silver Dollar (via US mint). One side of the $1 coin features a portrait of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, making her the first living woman depicted on a U.S. coin. The flip side includes the Special Olympics logo and a quote: "As we hope for the best in them, hope is reborn in us." --Eunice Kennedy Shriver Photo: https://www.dropbox.com/s/j86tbm69e487khk/1995_EKScoin-2sides.jpg?dl=0
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5/7/2018May 9, 2009: The U.S. National Portrait Gallery unveils a historic portrait of Eunice Kennedy Shriver. The painting is the first portrait the gallery has ever commissioned of an individual who has not served as a U.S. President or First Lady. The painting also portrays five Special Olympics athletes. https://www.dropbox.com/s/l6asitatl281rt6/EKS%20National%20Portrait.jpg?dl=0
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5/14/2018May 18-22, 2000: As part of the “Campaign for Special Olympics,” actor Arnold Schwarzenegger joins Special Olympics athletes to light the Flame of Hope at the Great Wall of China. They launch the Special Olympics China Millennium March and begin the most ambitious growth campaign in the movement’s history. China pledges to increase its number of athletes from 50,000 to 500,000 by 2005. https://www.dropbox.com/s/wgb6cfi69zeeg9l/Schwarzenegger_at_Great_Wall_of_China.jpg?dl=0
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5/21/2018May 20-23, 2000: The first-ever Global Athlete Congress takes place in The Hague, Netherlands. Special Olympics athletes from every region in the world come together to discuss the future of the Special Olympics movement. Despite differences in language, culture, age and gender they hold discussions, challenge existing ideas and vote on new resolutions. Photo: https://www.dropbox.com/s/2pboa678jks2s1e/2000-Global_Athlete_Congress-group.jpeg?dl=0
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5/28/2018June 1981: Wichita, Kansas (USA) Police Chief Richard LaMunyon launches a Special Olympics awareness campaign that becomes the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, the movement's largest grassroots fundraiser. In just a few years, the Torch Run would become a highlight of Opening Ceremony at local, state, National, Regional and World Games. Photo: https://www.dropbox.com/s/wr2io3mycafefj7/LETR_with-athlete-crowd.JPG?dl=0 Bonus video clip: The Torch Run makes a big impact at the 1987 International Games: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ssu2wm8y9vg46dv/1987-LETR-at-OC.mov?dl=0June 1995: The Special Olympics Board of Directors in Africa forms and holds its inaugural meeting.
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6/4/2018June 6-10, 2010: The Special Olympics Global Congress is held in Marrakech, Morocco -- the first major convocation of movement leadership since the death of founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Hundreds of Special Olympics leaders from around the world gather to chart the organization's future. Leaders begin work on a five-year strategic plan for the movement to change attitudes and improve the lives of people with intellectual disabilities through sports worldwide.A Global Athlete Congress was also held. Photo: https://www.dropbox.com/s/e175yfbukwtgng3/2010-global-athlete-congress-morocco.jpg?dl=0June 10, 2006: U.S. President and Mrs. George W. Bush host a tribute dinner at the White House to honor Special Olympics for its unprecedented growth over the past five years. The event also celebrates the 85th birthday of founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver.
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6/11/2018June 1970. Two years after the Special Olympics movement is launched, the first Special Olympics National Games are held outside the US: the French Special Olympics Games. More than 500 athletes take part. Photo:https://www.dropbox.com/s/qgf7nl5r0bw8a4w/1970-Special_Olympics-France-opening-ceremony.jpg?dl=0
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6/18/2018June 20, 2003: Special Olympics releases “The Multinational Study of Attitudes toward Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities.” It's the most comprehensive global study thorough ever on this subject. The report offers valuable insight into how people around the world view the roles and capabilities of persons with intellectual disabilities in the workplace, classroom and daily social life. Photo: https://www.dropbox.com/s/sd2g7xk9myo9mpw/2003-multinational_study-cover.jpg?dl=0
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6/25/2018June 21-29, 2003: Ireland hosts the first Special Olympics World Summer Games to be held outside the United States. 5,500 athletes participate in this landmark event. It is the world's largest sporting event in 2003, capturing the hearts and imaginations of the Irish people. Photo: Nelson Mandela and Bono were among thousands who took part in Opening Ceremony. https://www.dropbox.com/s/qroxigk8cvxgemy/2003WG-Nelson_Mandela_Bono.jpg?dl=0 June 25-July 4, 2011: The 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games are held in Athens, Greece. More than 6,000 athletes from 170 countries take part.
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7/2/2018July 1-9, 1995: Several new initiatives make their debut at the 9th Special Olympics World Summer Games. These include the Host Town Program, Healthy Athletes®, and Research and Policy Symposia. In addition, for the first time, people with intellectual disabilities serve as certified officials.https://www.dropbox.com/s/o85kzjyhcf1gv19/1995%20EKS%20with%20Athlete.jpg?dl=0July 2-7, 2008: The first Special Olympics Pan American Tennis Tournament is held in Brazil.July 2, 2007: Special Olympics MENA hosts its first Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, as part of the runup to the 2007 World Summer Games in Shanghai, China. (The torch arrived in Egypt and was delivered by the Special Olympics committee and DHL to the Governor of Alexandria, who passed the torch on to a Special Olympics athlete from Egypt and a Special Olympics athlete from China, who together lighted the Flame of Hope.).
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7/9/2018July 12-14, 2001: Cape Town, Johannesburg and Sun City, South Africa host Special Olympics African Hope. Former President Nelson Mandela, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Special Olympics athletes gather to light the Flame of Hope and kick off the largest Law Enforcement Torch Run through the streets of Cape Town. The event generates awareness of the movement throughout the continent. It also launches a major push to reach 100,000 new athletes in Africa by 2005.( https://www.dropbox.com/s/wc6qzdkf29iafb1/2001-African_Hope-Ricardo_and_Mandela.jpg?dl=0  -- Photo shows USA athlete Ricardo Thornton with Nelson Mandela.)1998-1999: Special Olympics Egypt athlete Mostafa Galal is selected as the first Global Messenger from the Middle East/North Africa region. And for the first time in the history of Special Olympics MENA, Galal was named as Assistant HOD to Egypt's delegation at the 2nd MENA Regional Games held in Morocco.July 12, 2017: Eunice Kennedy Shriver is posthumously awarded the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at the annual ESPY Awards.
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7/16/2018July 20, 1968: The first Special Olympics International Summer Games are held at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. An estimated 1,000 athletes from 26 U.S. states and Canada compete in three sports: swimming, floor hockey, and track and field. https://www.dropbox.com/s/99pbf6fq6hko1n3/1968-field.JPG?dl=0July 21, 1998: Special Olympics names the inaugural class of Sargent Shriver International Global Messengers, spokespeople for the Special Olympics movement with intellectual disabilities. The 12 men and women in this first class of travel the world as advocates for the respect and rights of people with intellectual disabilities. https://www.dropbox.com/s/k0ddk1i0a2u9car/1998-first_Global_Messengers.jpg?dl=0
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7/23/2018July 1999: For the first time, a Law Enforcement Torch Run takes place in Zimbabwe. Special Olympics Zimbabwe athletes run alongside members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police. https://www.dropbox.com/s/bder9lhyjt0iz7l/1999-ZImbabwe_Law_Enforcement_Torch%20Run.JPG?dl=0.
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7/30/2018Aug. 2, 1968: Less than a month after the first Special Olympics International Summer Games are held in Chicago, Ill., Special Olympics is officially incorporated in Washington, D.C. Special Olympics, is the first sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities, is supported by the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation. https://www.dropbox.com/s/dwrul2pjuscny76/1968_Games_logo.jpg?dl=0July 31-Aug. 1, 1987: The first-ever athletes from the Middle East/North Africa region participate in a Special Olympics World Games. These two athletes from Jordan compete at the Summer Games in South Bend, Indiana, USA.July 31, 2014: U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama host “Celebration for Special Olympics and a Unified Generation” at the White House. Some of the world’s leading social activists, business leaders, sports legends and entertainers attended the event, which saluted the work of Special Olympics in engaging young people to fight inactivity, intolerance and injustice in their schools and communities. (Photo: President Obama gets a hug from Special Olympics athlete Tim Harris: https://www.dropbox.com/s/n7pcf41j9maw5bf/2014-White-House-6500.jpg?dl=0 )Aug 2, 1987: Eunice Kennedy Shriver delivered her Charge to the athletes during the Opening Ceremony of the International Special Olympics Summer Games held in South Bend, Indiana, USA: “Tonight, in this great stadium, a new legend is born. You, athletes, are the heroes of that legend. Here, where crowds once cheered for Johnny Lujack and George Gipp: for Joe Theismann and Rocky Bleier, tonight they cheer for you. You are the stars and the world is watching you. By your presence you send a message to every village, every city, every nation. A message of hope. A message of victory. The right to play on any playing field? You have earned it. The right to study in any school? You have earned it. The right to hold a job? You have earned it. The right to be anyone's neighbor? You have earned it. The days of segregation and separation are over! “You [Special Olympics athletes] have thrilled us on the playing fields of the world. You have taught us that what matters is not power or politics, weapons or wealth. What truly counts is the courageous spirit, the generous heart."
Video: https://www.dropbox.com/s/bu1atkp1crzwf7u/EKS-1987_OC_speech-full.mov?dl=0
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8/6/2018Aug. 9, 1979: At a “First Day of Issue” ceremony at Brockport, New York, Postmaster-General William F. Bolger presents a new, 15-cent commemorative stamp honoring Special Olympics to Eunice Kennedy Shriver. The stamp was designed by Connecticut artist Jeff Cornell. A White House ceremony is also held, with First Lady Rosalynn Carter. https://www.dropbox.com/s/cdnyb4x328e1xwj/1979-stamp-EKS_and_Mrs_Carter.jpg?dl=0Aug. 11, 2009: The founder of Special Olympics, Eunice Kennedy Shriver (born July 10, 1921), dies at her family home in Massachusetts. Letters and messages celebrating her contribution to humanity pour in from world leaders and people from around the world. See www.eunicekennedyshriver.org (Photo: EKS portrait: https://www.dropbox.com/s/zb8jlfutez5s4l0/B%26W_EKS_Headshot.jpg?dl=0 )
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8/13/20181978: Special Olympics Kenya becomes the first program founded in Africa. With the help of the Peace Corps, the Kenya Society for the disabled and a young man named Francis Adika, Special Olympics Kenya was created at the Jacaranda Special School in Nairobi, which remains one of the most active school programs in the region. Adika later became the National Director of the program for about 20 years, introducing Special Olympics into most of the current English-speaking countries including Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Seychelles. Kablan Deignan was his counterpart in introducing Special Olympics in French-speaking countries.Aug. 1997: Zimbabwe holds the first African Leadership Council Meeting. Participants were from: Togo, Seychelles, Ghana, Botswana, Cote d'Ivoire, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. https://www.dropbox.com/s/bahcjvvdj41cekb/Africa_leadership_meeting_Ghana.JPG?dl=0Aug. 13-15, 1970: The Second International Special Olympics Games are held in Chicago, Ill., with all 50 states represented. The number of athletes -- 2,000 -- is twice the number that participated at the first 1968 Games in Chicago. Athletes from Canada, France, Puerto Rico and D.C. take part as well. https://www.dropbox.com/s/t4quk5jkor8msvt/1970_WG-Mass-team.jpg?dl=0
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8/20/2018Aug. 1996: Zimbabwe holds its first Athlete Leadership Council Meeting. This is a breakthrough for all people with disabilities in Africa, showcasing the leadership skills and abilities of people with intellectual disabilities. (https://www.dropbox.com/s/1w6u4ffu210btkn/Athlete_leadership_council_meeting-Chengeta-Zimbabwe.JPG?dl=0 )
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8/27/2018Aug. 1997: Latin America holds its first Unified Sports regional competition. Athletes with and without intellectual disabilities launch this life-changing initiative by playing football (soccer) together ias part of the Special Olympics South American Football Tournament in Lima, Peru. https://www.dropbox.com/s/nsi7n9emg8yvsb0/1997-Peru-Volunteers-2.jpg?dl=0
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9/3/2018Sept 2001 (approx): Florence Nabayinda of Uganda is named the first Special Olympics Sargent Shriver International Global Messenger from Africa. Learn more about Florence Nabayinda's story: https://www.dropbox.com/s/rudq4o0hyxborsl/Florence_Uganda-2.5min.mp4?dl=0.
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9/10/2018Sept. 1962: Word begins to spread of a ground-breaking article revealing -- for the first time -- that Rosemary Kennedy (President Kennedy's sister) has an intellectual disability. Eunice Kennedy Shriver's article in the popular "Saturday Evening Post" is the first such public acknowledgement by the Kennedy Family. The piece is titled, "Hope for the Retarded" and quickly becomes known as a "watershed in changing attitudes toward people with [intellectual disability]." See video with Maria Shriver, marking the 50th anniversary of this historic piece in 2012: https://www.dropbox.com/s/8r0nfs4yeuhyvnd/Maria-BW.mov?dl=0
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9/17/2018Sept. 23, 2012: Former President Bill Clinton announces that businessman and philanthropist Tom Golisano will provide $12 million to expand Special Olympics’ health-related services to people with intellectual disabilities. This gift allows for the launch of a new Healthy Communities initiative. The commitment was made at the opening of the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York, NY.
(This was the largest single gift Special Olympics had ever received from an individual.) See video from 2012 announcement: https://www.dropbox.com/s/m3o9h7uyx3dpv6e/CGI-Announcement.mp4?dl=0
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9/24/2018Sept. 1986: The United Nations launches the International Year of Special Olympics with the theme “Special Olympics—Uniting the World.” The all-day event includes a Parade of Athletes, torch-lighting ceremony on the UN Esplanade, weightlifting demonstration with Special Olympics coach Arnold Schwarzenegger, and a musical performance by Academy Award-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch. There's also a Special Olympics Sports Award Luncheon, featuring more than 300 UN Ambassadors, celebrities, sports stars and others. (Photo shows, from left, Christopher Reeve, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Manute Bol, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Sargent Shriver and Frank Gifford with two young athletes: https://www.dropbox.com/s/83g3c3ec01v14lp/1986-UN-Sports-Awards-group.jpeg?dl=0 ). (Photo shows, from left, Christopher Reeve, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Manute Bol, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Sargent Shriver and Frank Gifford with two young athletes: https://www.dropbox.com/s/83g3c3ec01v14lp/1986-UN-Sports-Awards-group.jpeg?dl=0 )
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10/1/2018Oct. 2-11, 2007: The city of Shanghai, China, hosts the 12th Special Olympics World Summer Games. The Games are broadcast internationally on a vast scale. Participation is at a record high, with more than 7,500 athletes from 164 countries. (Photo of the glittering Opening Ceremony: https://www.dropbox.com/s/jfe1wjrxs9uakn3/2007-Shanghai-World-Games.jpg?dl=0 )Oct. 3-6, 2012: The first Regional Games in Africa take place in Rustenburg, South Africa. Competitions include seven-a-side Unified Soccer. The first three teams to participate are South Africa, Tanzania and Cote d'Ivoire.
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10/8/2018Oct. 12, 1987: A Very Special Christmas, the first in a series of Christmas-themed compilation albums produced to benefit Special Olympics, is released. This would become the best-selling benefit recording series in music history. Artists on the first album include Whitney Houston, Bruce Springsteen, Run-D.M.C., Jon Bon Jovi, Sting, U2, John Cougar Mellencamp, Madonna and many others! .https://www.dropbox.com/s/vi7rfk782ze847i/1987-first-AVSC-artists.jpg?dl=0

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10/15/2018Oct. 2001: Special Olympics develops and distributes So Get Into It® kits for students with and without disabilities to schools and teachers worldwide at no cost. They teach young people about intellectual disabilities while empowering them to “be the difference.” The lessons highlight values of inclusion, acceptance and respect. https://www.dropbox.com/s/azi16gahnzdmoec/2001-SO%20Get%20Into%20It.jpg?dl=0
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10/22/2018Oct. 24, 1963: U.S. President John F. Kennedy signs legislation creating the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development within the National Institutes of Health. This becomes the first government agency in the world to focus on developmental and intellectual disabilities. (The agency would later be re-named in honor of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, https://nichd.nih.gov/Pages/index.aspx.) This was one of the last bill-signing ceremonies of Kennedy’s presidency, who was killed a month later. https://www.dropbox.com/s/2n6p3cy6djdgcan/1963-JFK-gives-EKS-pen-used-to-sign-historic-legislation-for-people-with-ID-October-1963.jpg?dl=0
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10/29/2018Oct. 30, 2004: U.S. President George W. Bush signs the "Special Olympics Sport and Empowerment Act." This gives $15 million over five years to Special Olympics programs. The funding goes to initiatives that encourage greater respect and understanding for people with intellectual disabilities. This marks the first time that Special Olympics secures support through legislation. https://www.dropbox.com/s/6ny4qmw038aadgb/2004-President_Bush-signer-of-Empowerment-Act.jpg?dl=0
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11/5/2018Nov. 2009: More than 20 years after the first album, "A Very Special Christmas 7" is released, infusing the record-breaking Christmas record series with the energy and talent of a new generation of music stars. Feautured artists include Miley Cyrus, Sean Kingston, Carrie Underwood and Colbie Caillat. (www.veryspecialchristmas.org.) https://www.dropbox.com/s/ncgm2usrvvnssvz/2009-AVSC-overview.mp4?dl=0Nov. 2008: The first Central American and Caribbean Games are held.Nov: Following a lobbying campaign for Special Olympics athletes to be recognized by the Zimbabwe Sports Commission, athlete Tambudzai Mandonga is nominated as the Zimbabwe Disabled Sports Person of The Year. Mandonga is the first athlete with a disability to be recognized as part of this prestigious annual event.
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11/12/2018Nov. 1996: The first Special Olympics Latin American competition event is held. Athletes from around the region compete in the "1st South American Swimming Tournament" in Curitiba, Brazil.Nov. 1998: A bocce coaches training takes place as bocce is introduced as a new regional sport in Venezuela.
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11/19/2018Nov. 25, 2012: The 'A Very Special Christmas' series -- the most successful benefit recording series in music history -- marks its 25th anniversary with the release of two new albums. The series has raised approximately $116 million and given crucial help to Special Olympics athletes and programs around the world, including Cambodia, Laos, Timor Leste, Lesotho, as well as China, Russia, Uganda and the USA.Nov. 1992: 21 delegates from seven countries met in Zimbabwe to attend the first Special Olympic All Africa Conference.Three delegates from Special Olympics International Headquarters in Washington joined as well. https://www.dropbox.com/s/cbnk2munjgworfw/1992%20Conference%20delegates%20Lake%20Chivero%20Nov%201992.JPG?dl=0
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11/26/2018Dec. 2, 1968: Sen. Edward Kennedy announces the formation of Special Olympics, Inc. A seven-member Board of Directors is named: Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Frank Hayden, Robert Cooke, Rafer Johnson, Thomas King, James Lovell and G. Lawrence Rarick. Anne McGlone Burke is later added. Beverly Campbell is named director of community relations.Nov. 29, 1975: The Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 (Public Law 94-142) becomes law. The landmark legislation guarantees a “free appropriate public education” for children with mental and physical handicaps and contains a groundbreaking provision that includes physical education among the services schools must provide for children with handicaps.Nov. 25-30, 2008: The first Central American and Caribbean Games are held.
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12/3/2018Dec. 1971: The U.S. Olympic Committee gives Special Olympics official approval as the only other organization authorized to use the name “Olympics” in the United States.
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12/10/2018Dec. 3-11, 2014: The President of the Arab Republic of Egypt H.E. Abdel Fattah El Sisi is the first Egyptian leader to attend Middle East/North Africa Regional games. He attended the Opening Ceremony of the 8th Regional Games held in Cairo, with participation of 14 countries from the Middle East/North Africa region. A total of 925 athletes, 250 coaches and delegates, 2000 volunteers attended. (Egypt's president was invited to attend the Opening Ceremony by Special Olympics athlete Abdel Menam, who announced the invitation on a TV show a day before the Games. A phone call came in minutes later from President El Sisi. He told Menam he heard his kind invitation. President El Sisi stunned all attendees with his presence the next day. It was a major boost for Special Olympics across the whole region.)
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12/17/2018Dec. 17, 1998: U.S. President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton host “A Very Special Christmas from Washington, D.C.” It's the first time the White House hosts a Special Olympics gala and the first time that artists from “A Very Special Christmas” album series gather together to perform. (In 2000, President and Mrs. Clinton host “A Very Special Christmas” for the second time.)Dec. 23, 2005: "The Ringer," a Farrelly Brothers film starring Johnny Knoxville, opens in theaters throughout Canada and the United States. The film includes appearances from more than 150 Special Olympics athletes. Its producers work with Special Olympics to challenge destructive stereotypes and negative thinking about people with intellectual disabilities.
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12/24/2018Dec. 2012: The 'A Very Special Christmas' series marks its 25th anniversary with the release of two new albums. The series has raised approximately $116 million and given crucial help to Special Olympics athletes and programs around the world, including Cambodia, Laos, Timor Leste, Lesotho, as well as China, Russia, Uganda and the USA.
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12/31/2018Dec. 1995: The 'A Very Special Christmas' Album series is recognized as the most successful music benefit recording series in history.
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questions? suggestions? contact kmckenna@specialolympics.org
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