Special Olympics - Sportbewegung für behinderte Menschen (Englisch)

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Special Olympics

Today I want to make you more accessible with the topic “Special Olympics”.

“Let me win! But if I can`t win, so let me try it couragely” 
This is the oath of Special Olympics.

What is Special Olympics?
Special Olympics offers worldwide in 143 nations for mor than 2 Million children, youths and adults with mental hanicaps the possibility for contests and trainings in 26 different sports.
These sports and their rules are especially designed for persons with mental handicap.

The beginning of Special Olympics was in 1960, when Eunice Shriver arranged the first sports camp for mental handicaped people called “Camp Shriver”.  Special Olympics International was founded later in1968. It`s headquarter is in Washington and the national associations are coordinated from this central office. Special Olympics has the strong believe, that people with mental handicaps are learning to have fun and with the necessary encouragement they have a personal profit at the single and team games. A regularly training is very important for the positive development of the sportives as well. The spirit of Special Olympics – talent, courage, divide and fun – is standing for universal values, with no boarders regarding states, nationalities, political meanings, sex, age, rass or religion. The destination is to help people with mental handicaps to be accepted and respected and to get the chance to be a productive part as an fellow citizen.  The Special Olympics competitions are oriented on the model of the Olympic Games. More than 15.000 contest, meetings and tournaments are holded every year.

The Sports
Special Olympics offers 26 different sports for persons with mental handicaps. Especially the UNIFIED-sports and the MATP (Motor Activities Training Programm) support the integration and the normalitiy because of sports. The UNIFIED-sportsprogram united people with and without mental hanicaps. For sportives with hard handicaps Special Olympics developt the MATP-program with a lot of sport-teachers, physical therapists and other specialists. The destination of MATP is not especially the competitions but training and activity.

The official Special Olympic sommersports are

  • swimming,
  • athletics,
  • basketball,
  • bowling,
  • cycling,
  • riding,
  • soccer,
  • golfing,
  • gymnastics,
  • weight-lifting,
  • rollerblading,
  • softball,
  • tennis,
  • volleyball,
  • badminton,
  • boccia,
  • sailing,
  • tabletennis and
  • handball.

The official Special Olympic wintersports are

  • Skiing,
  • nordic skiing,
  • figure skating,
  • floorhockey,
  • snowshoeing,
  • snowboarding and
  • speed skating.

No olympic sports are judo and sticksports. They are for demonstration and the contests are regional.

In Austria the Special Olympics association organize a lot of competitions. A lot of them are the condition to take part on the International Olympic World Winter and Summer Games. The First World Summer Games was holded in1970 in France. In The following 32 years they was holded in some american states and places like Chicago, Los Angeles, Michigan, New York, Louisiana, Indiana, Minnesota, Connecticat ans North Carolina and in 2003 in Dublin,Ireland. This year they was taken place the 12th time in Shanghai, China. The next World Summer Games take place in Athen/Greece in 2011. The First World Winter Games was holded in Colorado. Some other important places are Vermont, Park City, Nevada and Lake Tahoe, Schladming in Salzburg, Toronto, Anchorage/Alaska and Nagano/Japan. In 2009 the next World Winter Games are taking place in Idaho/USA.

On my workplace at the Lebenshilfe Region Scheibbs we are very involved on Special Olympics. We take part on a lot of national competitions and also on the International Olympic World Games.
Some examples are the World summer Games in Dublin 2003 and Shanghai this year. In Anchourage/Alaska 2001 and Nagano/Japan 2005 we was taken part on the World Winter Games.

As an special example I want to tell you some details about the 12th World Summer Games in Shanghai. They was taken place from the 2nd to the 11th of october. About 7000 sportives from about 167 countries take part on this competitions. The Austrian delegation was containing 136 sportives, and 40 trainees. They was winning 20 gold medals, 31 silver medals and 31 bronze medals. From the Lebenshilfe Region Scheibbs we was taken part on the sports swimming, boccia and cycling with 7 sportives and 3 trainees. Now I want to show you some impressions from the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Shanghai.

Words to “Special Olympics”

make something more accessible
                         etwas näherbringen
national associations
                         nationale Verbände
universal values
                         universelle Werte
fellow citizen
to be very involved
                         sehr engagiert sein
take part
take place