Page 34 - BBHAC Winter 2015-16 Gazette
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       The Special Olympics

The Olympics and Paralympics            the main event. But by 2012     the boycott at those Games,
have, as we go to press, now been       the Olympiad had become         there were slightly fewer
completed. However there are            recognised as a serious         competitors in 1984 and only
other Olympic movements designed        competitive sporting event.     140 competing Nations. So
to include all those who despite        There are in fact four          what are the Special Olympics
whatever their disability, are able to  Olympic movements and the       and how are they different to
compete at whichever level they can.    other two are often forgotten.  the Paralympics?
Such are the Special Olympics           One is the Deaflympics          The Paralympics are for those
                                        for those with hearing          with a physical disability
What are the Special                    impairment. This movement       and of course there are
Olympics?                               was sanctioned by the IOC       many categories. They cater
                                        in the 1920s. The fourth        for those who have what is
The Paralympics greatly                 movement is the Special         referred to as an ‘intellectual
caught the imagination in               Olympics where at their         disability’. The Special
2012 especially as Team GB              World Summer Games in Los       Olympics were founded by
had a highly impressive return          Angeles in 2015, 7000 athletes  John F. Kennedy’s sister
of 120 medals including 34              from 177 countries took         Eunice Shriver in 1968. In
golds and finished third                part in 25 different sports.    1971, The U.S. Olympic
in the medal table. It was              There was a contingent of       Committee gave the Special
a superb celebration and                112 from the UK. There          Olympics official approval to
testament to how a small
acorn had grown into a                  were 500,000 spectators         use the name ‘Olympics’. In
mighty oak. Its beginnings              and 30,000 volunteers for       1988, the Special Olympics
in the immediate post war               an event that was ‘full of      was officially recognised by
period were humble enough               joy and friendship’. This       the International Olympic
when Dr Lutwig Guttman                  was the largest event in LA     Committee (IOC).
of Stoke Manderville                    since the 1984 Olympics.        Like the International
Hospital organised a sports             And, probably because of        Paralympics Committee,
competition for British World
War II veteran patients
with spinal cord injuries
and to some it seemed
merely an afterthought to
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