The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for persons eight years of age and older 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 Philosophy
Special Olympics is founded on the belief that people with intellectual disabilities can, with proper instruction and encouragement, learn, enjoy, and benefit from participation in individual and team sports. These must be adapted only as necessary to meet the needs of those with mental and physical limitations.
Special Olympics believe that consistent training is indispensable to the development of an individual’s sports skills. In addition, competition among those of equal abilities is the most appropriate means of testing these skills, measuring progress, and providing incentives for personal growth.
Special Olympics Maryland's Vision
The vision of Special Olympics Maryland is to be the leader in lifelong and unified sports programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities, empowering athletes to be valued members of their community and respected members of society.
Special Olympics Maryland's Values
The following six values guide all decisions and actions taken by staff, volunteers and athletes.
•Community: We attempt to connect our athletes with their local COMMUNITY as much as possible. We use community facilities; we generate local publicity, and we portray the athletes and their families as local heroes. Connections and bridges are formed.
•Friendships: We encourage FRIENDSHIPS among athletes and families throughout Special Olympics. We also encourage friendships with athletes without disabilities through their commonality of sport. The goal is friendships for life.
•Integrity: Athletes develop INTEGRITY by doing the 'right thing'.
•Opportunity: All Special Olympics stakeholders are given the OPPORTUNITY to excel.
•Quality: in all we do.
•Sportsmanship: We follow the rules of the game by demonstrating good SPORTSMANSHIP and fairness for all.
Special Olympics Athlete's Oath
'Let me win; but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.'
Visit www.somd.org to learn more about Special Olympics Maryland and the programs offered.