Special Olympics was created in November 2003 as part of Special Olympics International movement. Special Olympics facilitates the social inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities by encouraging participation through sports. Special Olympics gives people with special needs opportunities to discover and develop their potential and sports skills through on going training programs and annual sports events. These events give Special Olympics athletes countless occasions to become active members of their families and communities. Special Olympics is an experience that gives energy, health, self confidence and joy of living to all participants, family members and volunteers.
Special Olympics Athletes Oath: “Let me Win. But if I Cannot Win, Let Me Be Brave in the Attempt!”
Special Olympics Romania is a national programme that involves:
• 27.000 athletes all over the country;
• 2500 coaches and volunteers;
• 2 000 pupils and teachers from public schools;
• 11 olympic disciplines;
• 130 of special schools and NGO partners all over the country ;
• 100 sport events ;
• 8 events of health evaluations, all for free .
Special Olympics Romania is:
• one of the few movements in Romania that brings together, through its events, people with intellectual disabilities, members of their families , volunteers , students and professionals
• the place where athletes with intellectual disabilities become active persons in an educational and social environment ;
• the moment in which the community is aware of and admires the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities.
Special Olympics and Paralympics are two different organizations, recognized by the International Olympic Committee. The main difference resides in the type of disability and the level of sports performance of the athletes. The Special Olympics World Summer or Spring Games have the same frequency as the Paralympic Games, but one year apart. The most recent Special Olympics World Summer Games were held in 2011, in Greece.
Special Olympics is based on the belief that, with proper instruction and support, people with intellectual disabilities can, learn, enjoy and benefit from the participation in individual and team sports. Special Olympics also believes that training programs are core elements for providing constant opportunities to develop physical fitness and to create an environment of competition, where people with intellectual disabilities are brought together. This is an opportunity for their sports evolution and gives them some tools for their personal development.
The Spirit of Special Olympics can be promoted by each of us. The participation in Special Olympics Romania‘ s events of all members of society, the support given for sports activities, to their families, as well as the involvement of volunteers, lead to the growth of this movement in Romania.
The involvement of the society can bring benefits for the people with intellectual disabilities and for their families. Our vision is to transform communities by inspiring people throughout the world to open their minds, accept and include people with intellectual disabilities and anyone who is perceived as different.
Here, at Special Olympics, we don’t just let things happen. Every time, we remember to let other people know that:
• We are an international movement with a 45 years background, not just one single event!
• We do not promote random participation, we offer a way of life. We build a philosophy of tolerance and inclusion for a better world.
• It’s about all of us, not just about them!
•Our goal is not to provide services to a certain group of persons, we want to change the society we live in and to prove that change is possible if we try. Special Olympics give the opportunity for a complex change.
What we do is urgent, not just useful and fun! The urgency of our mission is based on the fact that people from vulnerable group depend on the involvement of society and the changes in the public’s perceptions regarding people with disabilities! Values such as tolerance, solidarity and friendship will always have an impact on the mentality of those who are in less informed social environments. Change has never been more important and we can be the agents of change!