The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and 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 sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community. Our goal is to build a more civil society one athlete and one attitude at a time – creating a world of inclusion and mutual respect, without bias or prejudice.
The Special Olympics of Luzerne County offers free sports programs for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. As the athletes train and compete, they develop healthy habits, gain confidence in themselves and meet new friends. The fun, supportive environment encourages personal growth and inspires the athletes to reach their full potential.
A total of 174 countries and over 5 million athletes around the world participate in Special Olympics. The Luzerne County program, which is part of Special Olympics Pennsylvania, gained international recognition during the 2019 World Games in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. That year, Aaron Keller of Dorrance Township won a gold and two silver medals for running.
Special Olympics relies on donations and fundraisers to keep their programs running. They are always open to volunteers to help with training and games.