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To provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety 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 a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
The global Special Olympics movement started on July 20, 1968, when the first International Special Olympics Games were held at Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois, USA. However the concept of Special Olympics was thought of much earlier, when Eunice Kennedy Shriver started a day camp for people with intellectual disabilities at her home in 1962. Since 1974, when Special Olympics Tennessee (SOTN) became registered as 501(c) (3) non-for-profit organizations, has continued to achieve the original mission.
Special Olympics Tennessee is a program that through quality sports training and competition improves the lives of people with intellectual disabilities and, in turn, the lives of everyone they encounter. SOTN strives to empower the people we serve by helping them to realize their full potential and develop skills through year-round sports training and competition.