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To provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-style sports for all children and adults with intellectual disabilities giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of skills and friendship with their families, Special Olympics athletes and the community. Through their participation in Special Olympics New York athletes gain confidence and build a positive self-image, which carries into the classroom, the home, the workplace and the community.
Our founder, Dorothy Buehring Phillips, established the Special Olympics New York program in 1969. That same year, New York sent a delegation of athletes and coaches to the Northeast Regional Special Olympics competition in Boston, Massachusetts. Special Olympics New York was fully incorporated in 1970 and Phillips was appointed the first State Director. In June, 1970, the first State Summer Games were held in Rochester.
Today, we serve 48,761 (2009 census) athletes, making Special Olympics New York the largest program in the United States and the sixth largest program in the world. Special Olympics New York has its headquarters in Schenectady, with offices in Long Island, New York City, Hudson Valley, Central, Western, Capital and Genesee.
Special Olympics New York is a private non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and is funded primarily by donations from individuals, corporations and foundations. Special Olympics New York never charges athletes, their families or caregivers to train or compete.
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