Talk:Special Olympics

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WikiProject Multi-sport events (Rated C-class, Low-importance)
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I read through this article and have some concerns that that Criticism section doesn't really seem to read as objective. It doesn't even really seem to belong in this article and perhaps that has to do with the way it is written. Forgive me for the accusation, but it feels very much that someone with a particular agenda (hence bias and why I do not believe it belongs here) wrote that section. If there is a feeling this section really belongs--it would greatly help if whoever wrote it did the following: Clarify who exactly is making these claims. Write the article from a different tone/voice. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:53, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

Special Olympics[edit]

Why is this page newly flagged as having no references? It has quite a few. — Preceding unsigned comment added by KDylan1 (talkcontribs) 02:23, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

Yes, lots of references. Why not un-flag it? EFB.99 (talk) 16:26, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

Is that a real picture of the 2004 Special Olympics winner?

What're the requirements to participate in the special olympics, exactly?

Local, national and regional trainings and competitions are open to athletes with intellectual disabilities, ages 8 and up. No charge. There are varying criteria for participation in World Summer or World Winter Games, which happen every two years. KDylan1 (talk) 23:27, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

Hello The Official website of the Special Olympics has a general rules document available at:

The following is a quote from that page:

"The General Rules use the phrase “persons with mental retardation” when describing the individuals eligible for participation in Special Olympics. Programs may substitute for that phrase a reference to “mental handicap,” “mental disability,” “intellectual disability” or other phrases approved by Special Olympics, Inc. as provided in Section 10.01, if that alternate terminology is recognized by their respective national governments."

As the parent of an athlete I work with athletes with a wide range of functional levels, including high functioning individuals who hold jobs and are able to drive. If the individual has an intellectual disability which would make participation in maintstream sports difficult or impossible then the Special Olympics should certainly be considered.


Why did Sarajevo or Bosnia give up the rights to host the special olympics, they are stupid turning down an events that cold help their economy.

You assume they did it out of prejudice? The costs involved with preparing for such a competition are only rarely remunerated. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:01, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

Why is this portion in the article? Doesn't have attribution and doesn't have anything to do with the main organization. I suggest deleting this section on Bosnia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by KDylan1 (talkcontribs) 23:48, 8 September 2012 (UTC) kkk — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:10, 12 March 2013 (UTC)


This page and Special Olympic Games duplicate a lot of content, which has led to discussions about merging the two. I think it is more reasonable to remove the duplication and leave two articles, this one focussed on the organization and another focussed on the games. That is the same structure seen for the Olympics and Paralympics, with articles for the IOC and IPC distinct from the games that they organize. I have prepared a revised version of this page and will then move on to Special Olympic Games. Eron 15:37

I agree with Eron EFB.99 (talk) 19:00, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

Also -- the page is flagged for allegedly not including all significant viewpoints. Does this mean because there is a section on criticism, but not praise? There seem to be lots of viewpoints, though perhaps more negativity than positivity. Either way it doesn't seem like a big issue; why not just remove that flag -- and tidy up this page a bit? — Preceding unsigned comment added by EFB.99 (talkcontribs) 18:56, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

Even if you win[edit]

The reference to the "Arguing on the Internet is like running in the Special Olympics..." meme is unnecessarily vague. It's not really a meme at all; it's a particular phrase superimposed on a particular picture. One can easily guess why the image of Racer 192 is not included, since it likely is a copyrighted photo, but obfuscating the second half of the couplet seems a concession to good taste/political correctness, which would be better served by not mentioning the phenomenon at all. Asat 00:55, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

I agree, but I kind of think it should go; it doesn't belong with the tone or focus of the rest of the article. Far be it from me to be PC (I know everyone says that), but look: Special Olympics jokes are all over the place (and the best can be pretty funny); it's one of the most common off-color joke themes out there. The fact that one of the recent humorous uses of this joke template happened to be an Internet meme doesn't make it noteworthy enough to mention individually, among all the others, in the article on SO. A much better idea, I think, would be to mention the SO's general prominence in humor of this sort; that definitely go in. The other culture references are of more individual interest because they do not fit that particular well-trod theme. 11:36, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Good work. BTW when did "jokes" become "memes"? Steve Dufour 18:43, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
I took off some of the trivia. South Park gets enough mention on WP already and the other 2 did not seem to be notable, being sourced only by their own websites. Steve Dufour 16:22, 21 October 2007 (UTC)


It's been updated as of August 2012. I think this talk page needs to be updated.KDylan1 (talk) 23:39, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

The article needs to be updated, as there is no mention of the current 2007 Special Olympics in Shanghai, China. Saphius 11:30, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

This article is about the organization called Special Olympics. The event you refer to is the Special Olympics World Games. It is listed on that page, and has its own article linked from there. - Eron Talk 11:34, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
Whoops, my bad. However, it was very difficult to differentiate between the event and the organisation, unlike with the normal Olympics. Saphius 11:45, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
Okay, I'm not sure why. I thought the first paragraph of the article was fairly clear. In any case, I've added a note to the top of the page to reinforce the distinction. - Eron Talk 11:46, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
That's skim-reading fer ya... ^^'; end of discussion Saphius 11:59, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

regional games[edit]

Doesn't Special Olympics also have regional competiotions? 09MurphyM (talk) 04:56, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

Yes, there are local, state, national and regional compeitions, and this is important to know to help distinguish the everyday Special Olympics events to the once-every-two-years World Summer/World Winter Games. The page has now been updated.KDylan1 (talk) 23:27, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

Why "Special"?[edit]

Why are these competitions called "Special"? To me that connotes Olympic competitions held at irregular times rather than on the regular four-year schedule. Michael Hardy (talk) 18:19, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Special is a commonly used euphemism for people who are mentally differently abled than the average person. -- (talk) 17:03, 27 September 2011 (UTC)


I removed the part that reads "They grow mentally, socially and spiritually and, through their activities, exhibit boundless courage and enthusiasm, enjoy the rewards of friendship and ultimately discover not only new abilities and talents but "their voices" as well." from the Special Olympics Inc. section. As far as I can tell absolutely none of this is verifiable, never mind the fact that it is entirely unencyclopedic, emotional and rambling. It also strikes me as rather patronising towards the athletes. Also, this entire sentence adds absolutely nothing to the previous sentence "Children and adults with intellectual disabilities who participate in Special Olympics develop improved physical fitness and motor skills, greater self-confidence and a more positive self-image.". This sentence is entirely sufficient. Enice died on on August 11 2009. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:36, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

The Motivations for joining the Special Olympics merger[edit]

has apparently been proposed since August of last year. Please discuss in this section. 8ty3hree (talk) 10:44, 6 July 2013 (UTC)

I think the first step here is to improve Motivations for joining the Special Olympics to resolve some of the more serious issues flagged there. I don't think we can proceed with the merge until that happens. From the looks of recent edit history, I'm not sure that's going to happen anytime soon so I am mothballing the merge proposal. ~Kvng (talk) 02:22, 27 June 2016 (UTC)

Handicapism" vs. "Ablism"[edit]

To me, the latter means prejudice in favor of the handicapped, and the latter means prejudice in favor of the able-bodied. "There are many other documented reasons that people show disdain such as promotion of Handicapism, promotion of corporations, paternalism, athletic ability..." So, does this quote speak of disabled superiority or able-bodied superiority? YellowAries2010 (talk) 23:31, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Article on Frank Hayden[edit]

I have just started an article on Frank Hayden, one of the pioneers of the Special Olympics and mentioned here in this Special Olympics article. I would welcome any editors more knowledgeable in the Special Olympics than I to contribute to the section in the Frank Hayden article on the subject. --papageno (talk) 18:19, 8 March 2016 (UTC)

Rosemary Kennedy's Intellectual Disability.[edit]

Rosemary Kennedy is often referred as the "Hidden Kennedy". Born with intellectual disabilities her parents were determined to keep secret because she struggle to keep up with her highly competitive siblings. She was later known to serve as an inspiration to Eunice Kennedy Shriver to fund the Special Olympics. It's time history gives her disserving recognition. Luciano Paskevicius (talk) 15:50, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

Article merger[edit]

The article "Motivations for joining the Special Olympics" is a poorly written article but has some important information. It provides health, mental and other benefits for why people with disabilities should join the special olympics. It also provides some negative reasons. I think it would be better off as a section in this article, and then it could be edited into a more objective piece of writing. Overall I think the information in it is an important piece and could be added upon by providing information on how to join or contribute to the special olympics. Codystgermain (talk) 18:25, 16 September 2017 (UTC)

Bibliography Changes/Additions[edit]

I wrote previously that I thought the article "Motivations for joining the special olympics" should be merged into this article. It is important to provide evidence of exactly what the motivating factors are, and what the actual effects are of joining the special olympics. I am working on finding research that shows what effects the special olympics has on it's members activity level, participation abilities, social interaction, fitness levels and other factors. With all of these things it is very important to have peer reviewed research from credible sources. At the bottom I will provide a short bibliography of sources I have found. I would love for others to post any other sources they find that could help contribute to these proposed additions to the article.





Codystgermain (talk) 20:11, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

Connection to Olympic Games[edit]

There is no discussed link to how the Olympics, Paralympics, and Special Olympics interact with each other. Athletes from all sides join forces for speaking, fundraising, and in their sport to support each other and the sport they love. It will help bridge the gap between the Olympics, Paralympics, and Special Olympics by adding a section on how they connect and cooperate with each other.

Bibliography for further investigation on the connection between the Special Olympics, Paralympics and Olympics [5] [6] [7]

Morris116084 (talk) 12:26, 29 September 2017 (UTC)Morris116084Morris116084 (talk) 12:26, 29 September 2017 (UTC)

Special Olympics Eligibility[edit]

I think the article is well written and well rounded to include many different sports and what history is included, but I feel that it does not emphasize the criteria required to be included in the Special Olympics. To be eligible, the person must be at least 8 years of age and be identified by a professional as having an intellectual disability, cognitive delay measured by a formal assessment, or have significant learning or vocational problems due to a cognitive delay that requires special instruction. There is also another program called the Special Olympics for Young Athletes which was created for children with intellectual disabilities for ages 2 to 7. Hoodryan24 (talk) 19:58, 16 October 2017 (UTC)

  1. ^ Shapiro, Deborah (April 2003). "Participation Motives of Special Olympics Athletes". Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly. 20 (2): 150-165. doi: Check |doi= value (help). 
  2. ^ Harada, Coreen; Siperstein, Gary (January 2009). "The Sport Experience of Athletes with Intellectual Disabilities: A National Survey of Special Olympics Athletes and Their Families". Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly. 26 (1): 68–85. doi: Check |doi= value (help). 
  3. ^ Kersh, Joanne; Siperstein, Gary. "The Positive Contributions of Special Olympics to the Family" (PDF). Special Olympics Global Collaborating Center. 
  4. ^ Weiss, Jonathan; Diamond, Terry; Demark, Jenny; Lovald, Benedicte (July–August 2003). "Involvement in Special Olympics and its relations to self-concept and actual competency in participants with developmental disabilities". Research in Developmental Disabilities. 24 (4): 281–305. doi: Check |doi= value (help). 
  5. ^ Wolbring, Gregor (2008). "Oscar Pistorius and the future nature of Olympic, Paralympic and other sports" (PDF). Scripted. 5: 139-160. 
  6. ^ Harada, Coreen M.; Siperstein, Gary N.; Parker, Robin C.; Lenox, David (2011-11-01). "Promoting social inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities through sport: Special Olympics International, global sport initiatives and strategies". Sport in Society. 14 (9): 1131-1148. doi:10.1080/17430437.2011.614770. 
  7. ^ "Special Olympics: Ties between Special Olympics and Paralympics". Retrieved 2017-09-29.