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Special Olympics: 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 Bismarck-Mandan community.

With dozens of events a year – plus leadership, health and unified programs — our athletes find fulfillment on the playing field and in life in Burleigh and Morton counties of North Dakota.

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Bismarck Special Olympics athletes

About Special Olympics North Dakota

About Special Olympics North Dakota
  • Founded by Dr. Roger Kerns in 1972
  • The first ND State Summer Games were held in Fargo for close to 100 athletes.
  • That year, 15 athletes and 4 coaches from North Dakota represented Special Olympics North Dakota (SOND) at the International Games in Los Angeles.

Worldwide

Special Olympics Reach
  • 4.2 million athletes in more than 170 countries
  • 70,278 competitions
  • 1.3 million coaches and volunteers
  • 32 Olympic-type sports
  • Dynamic sport and corporate sponsorships

North Dakota

Special Olympics Reach
  • 1,500 athletes
  • More than 4,700 coaches and volunteers
  • 15 sports offered
  • More than 70 competitions each year

Upcoming Events

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Special Olympics Philosophy

All individuals with intellectual disabilities deserve:
  • Appropriate instruction and encouragement
  • Consistent training toward maximizing their capabilities
  • Frequent competition and among those of equal abilities
  • Focus on what the athletes can do
  • Athletes benefit from participation in both individual and team sports
  • Consistent training is indispensable
  • Competition with those of equal abilities is the most appropriate method for Special Olympics athletes enjoying success

If these are provided, result = personal growth