Our Mission The mission of Special Olympics 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.

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The Special Olympics mission remains as vital today as it did when the movement was founded in 1968. Special Olympics strives to create a better world by fostering the acceptance and inclusion of all people.

Through the power of sports, people with intellectual disabilities discover new strengths and abilities, skills and success. Our athletes find joy, confidence and fulfillment—on the playing field and in life. They also inspire people in their communities and elsewhere to open their hearts to a wider world of human talents and potential.

Our History

In the summer of 1968, a global movement of empowerment, dignity, and celebration of the human spirit was launched as 1,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities gathered on Soldier Field in Chicago for the first Special Olympics International Games. Since that day, Special Olympics has spread across the globe reaching more than 5.7 million athletes in 200 countries. Special Olympics New Mexico (SONM) became part of the movement in the 1970’s and was incorporated in 1977.

SONM’s first State Games (state-wide competition) was held at Milne Stadium in Albuquerque as just over 200 athletes from across the state competed. Our organization has continued to evolve, promoting the health and wellness of individuals with intellectual disabilities by providing year-round sports training and competition opportunities as well as facilitating free health screenings for Special Olympics athletes through the Healthy Athletes® program.

“We remain grateful for every volunteer, every community partner, and every person who has helped us create a culture of acceptance and understanding by engaging children and adults with intellectual disabilities (ID) in New Mexico. Special Olympics is an organization that belongs to all New Mexicans, and we will continue to welcome every person in our state with the hope of creating a kinder and more meaningful tomorrow.”

— Randy Mascorella, Executive Director of Special Olympics New Mexico

About Special Olympics

Special Olympics International is the governing body of the global Special Olympics movement. Special Olympics is responsible for maintaining and implementing the Special Olympics General Rules, which include the requirements, obligations, and policies that guide all levels of the movement.

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