About Unified Sports of Ohio and the Special Olympics

James Stephens

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COLUMBUS, OH — The spirit of inclusivity has always been the underlining goal of the Unified Sport when hosting the Special Olympics in Ohio.

The event brings together the athletes with and without intellectual abilities of similar age to compete against other teams. This program expands the opportunity for athletes who are looking for new challenges and excitement.

Some sports numbers in the Unified Sports this year are Alpine Skiing Athletics (Track & Field), Basketball, Bocce, Bowling, Golf, Powerlifting, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis and Volleyball.

Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools

Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools brings aspiring athletes with and without intellectual disabilities through education, sports, and leadership to nurture the knowledge, attitudes, and skill to sustain school communities that endorse respect, acceptance, human dignity and inclusivity.

Special Olympics emerged in the early 1960s when Eunice Kennedy Shriver started a day camp for people with intellectual disabilities. The first national event was held at Soldier Field in Chicago in 1968, with 1,000 athletes participating from the United States and Canada. Shortly after, Ohio began a Special Olympics program under the name of the Ohio Athletic Association and became incorporated in 1975.

The Special Olympics Unified Champion School is a combination of a school-wide activity with sports and leadership. All involved in the activity understand that those should not stop at a one-day event or as a single experience, but more year-long or seasonal activities that bring together the idea and expectation that can make an impact.

For more information about the event, contact Josh Messersmith, Director of Health and Unified Strategies, at jmessersmith@sooh.org.

To register as a partner, visit https://sooh.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Unified-Partner-Form.pdf.

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