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11 Facts about Intellectual Disabilities and Special Olympics


1. Special Olympics serves more than 3.1 million athletes in 175 countries

2. Special Olympics athletes compete in more than 30,000 events every year

3. Approximately 21 million people close to athletes—family members, coaches, volunteers, health professionals, spectators and community advocates—directly benefit from witnessing the power of Special Olympics

4. 30 Olympic-type sports

5. 7 regional offices—Dublin, Ireland; Cairo, Egypt; Johannesburg, South Africa; Beijing, China; Panama City, Panama; New Delhi, India; Raleigh, North Carolina USA

6. 750,000 volunteers around the world

7. More than 300,000 coaches around the world

8. Outreach to almost 200 million individuals with intellectual disabilities around the world

9. Special Olympics is the only organization authorized by the International Olympic Committee to use the word “Olympics” worldwide

10. The global reach of the Healthy Athletes program makes Special Olympics the largest public health organization in the world for people with intellectual disabilities

11. During the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Shanghai, 109 individual athletes’ performances would have matched those in the 2008 Olympic Summer Games in Beijing
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