Special Olympics was founded in the United States in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy-Shriver (deceased in 2009), one of the younger sisters of US President John F. Kennedy. Special Olympics is the world's largest sports movement for people with intellectual disabilities. It is present in 193 countries. Its sports offer includes 36 summer and winter sports. More than 6.3 million sportsmen and women, 830,000 registered sports family members, 500,000 coaches and over 1.1 million volunteers belong to the movement and contribute to its uniqueness.
As early as the 1980s, a group of motivated individuals began offering sports activities to people with mental disabilities. In 1995, the Special Olympics Switzerland Foundation was founded with the support of the Swiss Federation of Sports for the Disabled (Plusport) and personalities from the worlds of business, sport and parents' associations.
The main visions of Special Olympics Switzerland are the valorisation, the recognition and the equality of people with mental disabilities through sport
The figures in Switzerland :
- 19 sports offered, 14 in summer and 5 in winter
- 70 competitions
- 3'989 sports participations
- 2,286 registered athletes
Sports present in Villars :
- Alpine skiing
The competition venues will be Bretaye for skiing and snowboarding, the Sports Centre for tennis and Boccia, and Villars Bowling.