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2015 | 45 | 1 | 253-259

Article title

Global Initiative of the Special Olympics Movement for People with Intellectual Disabilities


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The mission of the Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and competition in a variety (33) of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in sharing of gifts and friendship with their families, other athletes, and their communities. The Special Olympics movement often goes beyond the sports competition formula. During the last few years, the movement has developed many new global initiatives, which expand its former sports activities. They include: 1. Coaching excellence and the coaching model 2. Partnerships with international (regional) sports federations 3. Sports Resources Teams (SRT) 4. Extended quota for high level athletes 5. Athletes Leadership Program (ALPS) 6. Young Athletes Program 7. Youth volunteer initiatives 8. Unified Sports Program 9. Motor Activity Training Program 10. Healthy Athletes Program These initiatives fulfill and expand the existing program, which was launched in 1968 and is the largest sports organization for people with disabilities worldwide, with very important new social, marketing, and developmental aspects of life, going far beyond activities met in other sports organizations.









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1 - 3 - 2015
7 - 4 - 2015


  • Department of Kinesitherapy and Special Methods in Physiotherapy, The Jerzy Kukuczka Academy of Physical Education, Katowice, Poland
  • Special Olympics Europe- Eurasia, Warszawa


  • Bogdan M, Styczeń J. Macro-regional training for the Special Olympics voluntary services coordinators. Warszawa 2004. Special Olympics internal materials
  • Dominik T, Olesińska-Myśliwiec S, Podolska A, Ropiak R, Starska K, Styczeń J, Wierzchowska K. Healthy Athletes. Special Olympics, conference materials. Olsztyn, 2007
  • Coach Education Center. Retrived from http://www.asep.com/ (20.07.2014) Conatser P, Naugle K, Tillman M, Stopka C. Athletic trainers’ beliefs toward working with Special Olympics athletes. Journal of Athletic Training, 2009; 44(3): 279-285
  • Gerreth K, Gromadzińska-Zapłata E, Liweń B, Paszyńśka E. Evaluation of the oral Health Status of Mentally disabled patients who practice sports. Dental Forum, 2007; 25(1): 35-39 Get into it. Retrieved from https://getintoit.specialolympics.org/(20 Jul 2014)
  • Hild U, Hey C, Baumann U, Montgomery J, Euler HA, Neumann K. High prevalence of hearing disorders at the Special Olympics indicate need to screen persons with intellectual disability. Journal Intellectual Disability Research, 2008; 52(Pt 6): 520-528[PubMed]
  • Janusiewicz-Kunder M, Strzałkowska M, Krogulec M. Organization of Special Olympics sport competitions. Warszawa, training materials of the Special Olympics Poland; 1999
  • Marchewka A. Special Olympics and sport and recreation activities as a measure for adaptation and social integration of people with more profound intellectual disability In: Sport in rehabilitation of disabilities. Red. J. Ślężyński. PSON, Kraków; 1999
  • Marchewka A. Special Olympics as a measure affecting motor abilities of people with intellectual disability. In: Sport Medicine. Medicina Sportiva, 2003; 138
  • Marchewka A. Influence of Special Olympics on the development of psychomotor abilities of people with more profound intellectual disability. In: The role of physical activity in health care and treatment of diseases. Red. E. Rutkowska. AM, Lublin; 1998
  • Myśliwiec A, Saulicz E, Kuszewski M, Knapik A, Olesińska Myśliwiec S. Special Olympics a chance for sport and general development of people with intellectual disability. In: The importance of educational and professional activity in a person’s life. Red. A. Augustyn, A Łacina-Łanowski, AHE, Łódź, 2010: 111-118
  • Myśliwiec A, Plinta R, Saulicz E, Olesińska-Myśliwiec S. The motor activity training program as a way of activation the persons with a deep degree mental handicap. Eucrasia, 2005; 9: 87-90
  • Myśliwiec A, Saulicz E, Kuszewski M. Health-promoting role of the Healthy Athletes Program of Special Olympics on the basis of evaluation of body posture - Preliminary report. In Struggling with disability. Red. Jerzy Rottermund. Impuls, 2009; 9: 47-54
  • Myśliwiec A, Saulicz E, Olesińska-Myśliwiec S. Physical activity of children with a mental handicap based on the movement of Special Olympics. Eucrasia, 2005; 9: 115-117
  • Olimpiady Specjalne Polska. Retrieved from http://www.olimpiadyspecialne.pl; accessed on: 20 Jul 2014
  • Special Olympics. Retrieved from http://www.specialolympics.org; accessed on: 20 Jul 2014
  • Sports Rule Competitions. Retrieved from http://www.media.specialolympics.org; accessed on:20 Jul 2014
  • Starska K, Łukomski, M. Realization of International Healthy Hearing Program in Poland: Hearing evaluation of participants of Special Olympics. Advances in Medical Sciences, 2006; 51: 197-199
  • Styczeń J. Sport and new initiatives. Conference materials, Sport vs disability. Ruda Śląska; 2009
  • Tassone JC, Duey-Holtz A. Spine concerns in the Special Olympian with Down syndrome. Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy Review, 2008; 16: 55-60 doi:10.1097/JSA.0b013e3181629ac4[WoS][Crossref]
  • Turner S, Sweeney M, Kennedy C, Macpherson L. The oral health of people with intellectual disability participating in the UK Special Olympics. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 2008; 52: 29-36
  • Weiss JA. Role of Special Olympics for mothers of adult athletes with intellectual disability. American Journal on Mental Retardation, 2008; 113: 241-253 [Crossref]

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