Special Olympics Mission

Our mission 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 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, adapted as necessary to meet the need of those with special mental and physical limitations.

Special Olympics believes that consistent sports training is essential to the development of sports skills, and that 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 believes that through sports training and competition, people with intellectual disabilities benefit physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually; families are strengthened, and the community at large, both through participation and observation, is united in understanding people with intellectual disabilities in an environment of equality, respect, and acceptance.


Special Olympics Athlete Oath

"Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."


Persons eligible for participation in Special Olympics are those persons at least eight years old who are identified as having intellectual disabilities, and other persons who have handicapping conditions because of cognitive delays and having significant learning or vocational problems to the extent that, if school age, they are receiving specially designed instruction. 

Some flexibility is left to Local, Area, Chapter, or National Special Olympics organizations for determining the eligibility of the participants because of the variety of situations, needs and definitions that exist in the many localities where Special Olympics have been and will be instituted.



Special Olympics Maine
125 John Roberts Rd, # 19
South Portland, ME  04106
+1 (207) 879-0489
+1 888 490 0672 (Fax)

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Created by the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation for the benefit of Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities.