About Us

History


Special Olympics is a worldwide program providing sports training and competition for people with an intellectual disability. Sport Canada recognizes Special Olympics Canada as the main provider of these services to people who have an intellectual disability.

In the early sixties Dr. Frank Hayden, a Toronto researcher, proved that given the opportunity, individuals with an intellectual disability could become physically fit and acquire the physical skills necessary to participate in sport. His work came to the attention of the Kennedy Foundation in Washington D.C., and led to the creation of Special Olympics.

In 1968, Chicago hosted the first Special Olympics Games. Dr. Hayden called upon his friend Harry “Red” Foster to lead the Canadian team to Chicago and upon his return; “Red” began laying the foundation for the Canadian Special Olympics movement. From these modest beginnings, the Special Olympics movement has spread across the country.

Incorporated in 1980, Special Olympics British Columbia now joins over two million athletes from over 160 countries throughout the world.
 

Our mission statement

Special Olympics is a worldwide program providing sports training and competition for people with an intellectual disability. Sport Canada recognizes Special Olympics Canada as the main provider of these services to people who have an intellectual disability.

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