International sports program for people with mental retardation.
It provides year-round training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type summer and winter sports for participants. Inaugurated in 1968 through the efforts of Eunice Kennedy Shriver and the Chicago Park District, the Special Olympics was officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee in 1988. Games are held every two years, alternating between winter and summer sports. International headquarters are in Washington, D.C.