History of Special Olympics:
Special Olympics started in Illinois nearly 40 years ago.
On July 20, 1968, the first Special Olympics competition was held at Soldier Field, Chicago. One thousand athletes from the United States and Canada participated in athletics (track & field) and aquatics events. Mayor Richard J. Daley, the Chicago Park District and Eunice Kennedy Shriver, representing the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation, welcomed athletes to Chicago. On that day, Eunice Kennedy Shriver announced the formation of a national Special Olympics. Within a year, programs were started across the United States.
Today, there are Special Olympics programs in more than 150 countries. Guam Special Olympics was formed in 1976, our first competition was the track and field competition held the following year at John F. Kennedy High School. We started out with 150 participants ranging from 8 years and older. Thirty-one years later, More than 300 Special Olympics athletes now train and compete throughout Guam in 3 programs Track & Field, Aquatics and Bowling) demonstrating courage, experiencing joy and participating in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other athletes and the island community. We hope to add a fourth program by year end 2008. In 2002 Guam Special Olympics was directed by Special Olympics International to align our organizational name to Special Olympics Guam thus known now as (SOGU).
About Special Olympics Guam:
Special Olympics Guam is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization that raises funds through private means, such as donations and grants. Special Olympics Guam is currently reapplying for accreditation by Special Olympics, Inc. which operates in all 50 states and in more than 160 countries. Guam supports more than 300 athletes annually from communities and schools throughout the island. It is our believe that there are about 2,000 eligible person in our school system alone. The focus in Special Olympics is on what athletes can do. Like everyone, Special Olympics athletes like to win, but more importantly – they strive to do their best. The sportsmanship that is demonstrated at the Hagatna pool, on the Okkodo High School track, or on the Central Lanes Bowling Alley is an inspiration to all.