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Since the beginning of the 1980s, Special Olympics Monaco has enabled people with mental disabilities to flourish through sport and sports competitions.

“Let me win.  But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt” … This is the motto of the Special Olympics, the largest international sports movement for people with mental disabilities.  Special Olympics was founded in the United States by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, one of the sisters of US President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

The Shriver sports camps she initiated in the early 1960s at her Maryland home, for 30 or so people, became the Special Olympics in 1968, attracting thousands of athletes.

Today, Special Olympics has a presence in 190 countries and enables 5 million athletes to achieve their potential by means of specially adapted sports programmes and take part in competitions with no elitism or performance criteria.

The Monegasque contest, Special Olympics Monaco, was founded in the early 1980s by Mireille Calmes, with the support of the Royal Family.

© Manuel Vitali - Direction de la Communication
© Palais Princier de Monaco

Following on from Prince Albert II, Princess Charlene has been the honorary president since 2012.  Football, athletics, swimming, tennis, table tennis, pétanque, horse riding, cycling, judo, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and more …

Sports activities and sports competitions are encouraged for children and adults with mental disabilities.  Every year, between 70 and 90 athletes, supervised by volunteers, train at the Louis II Stadium in Monaco, which is also host to the performances of the AS Monaco football team, the Roca Team basketball and the world athletics elite during the Herculis meeting.

Monaco takes part in the World Summer and Winter Games, organised on the principle of the Olympiads, every two years on an alternating basis – with great success.

At the last Summer World Games in Abu Dhabi 2019, the Monegasque delegation won 33 medals, including six world titles!  A performance that is testimony to the special place of people with disabilities in Monaco and the consideration accorded to them.

© Manuel Vitali - Direction de la Communication
© Spécial Olympics Monaco

“The mission of Special Olympics Monaco will always be the same – to integrate athletes into society as much as possible. “

Pierre Van Klaveren, President of Special Olympics Monaco, addressing La Gazette de Monaco.

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