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The concept of Special Olympics began in the early 1960's when Eunice Kennedy Shriver started a day camp for people with intellectual disabilities. From that experience it was clear that people with intellectual disabilities were far more capable in sports and physical activities than many experts believed. In 1968, Mrs. Shriver organized the First International Special Olympics Games at Soldier Field in Chicago, where 1000 athletes from the United States and Canada competed in track & field events and aquatics.

In 1968, the Special Olympics Mississippi Chapter was established. At the University of Southern Mississippi, 150 athletes participated in the First Special Olympics Mississippi Games where they competed in various track and field events.

"The days of separation and segregation are over! Special Olympians you have taught us what truly matters is the courageous spirit, the generous heart!" Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Founder, Special Olympics International.

To volunteer please call (228)376-SOMS(7667)
tabSpecial Olympics events schedule 
Click here for a schedule of events.
tabSpecial Olympics Links 
tabSpecial Olympics Mission & Goal 
Our Mission is... 
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.

Our Goal is...
to help bring all persons with intellectual disabilities into the larger society under conditions whereby they are accepted, respected and given a chance to become productive citizens.

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