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Special Olympics Tennessee provides 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.
Special Olympics began in the early 1960s when Eunice Kennedy Shriver provided day camps for children with intellectual disabilities in her backyard in Maryland. In 1968, the first World Games were held at Soldier Field in Chicago, with athletes from the United States and Canada attending. Special Olympics Tennessee serves 17,000 athletes from across the state. Competition opportunities are available to athletes at both the state and local level. Trainings and competitions for athletes ages 8 and older happen on a continuing basis throughout the year in cities across Tennessee.