"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." The motto of the Special Olympics inspires millions of children and adults every year. The organization provides sports training and athletic competitions for people with mental retardation. Special Olympics believes that participating in sports gives the athletes more confidence and improves their self-image.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver organized the first Special Olympics Games in Chicago in 1968. Millions of adults and children have participated in the events in 150 countries. About 25,000 American communities have Special Olympics programs. At the Special Olympics World Summer Games, about 7,500 athletes will compete in events such as track, swimming, gymnastics and volleyball. The events will be held in Shanghai, China, in 2007 and in Boise, Idaho, in 2009.