• Special Olympics in the 1980s

    From the U.N. to the I.O.C., Special Olympics gains recognition as the premier sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities all around the world. 

    Special Olympics athletes aim for perfection.

  • Special Olympics in the 1980s

    From the U.N. to the I.O.C., Special Olympics gains recognition as the premier sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities all around the world.

    Athletes from 14 nations took part in the 3rd International Special Olympics Winter Games in Park City, Utah, USA.

  • Special Olympics in the 1980s

    From the U.N. to the I.O.C., Special Olympics gains recognition as the premier sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities around the world.   

    An estimated 4,700 athletes from 70 countries competed in the 1987 International Summer Games in Indiana, USA.

Recognition and Growth Around the World

The "A Very Special Christmas' album series quickly broke global records as the most successful benefit recording series in music history. Here's a brief glimpse behind the scenes.

 

Next: the 1990s

The first International Games are held outside the USA, as Special Olympics gains a greater global foothold. New health programs mark a turning point as well. Learn more about Special Olympics in the 1990s