New Jersey Special Olympics Winter Games 2020

Christopher Baxter, Author

On Tuesday, February 4th, the Brave, Sport, and Bolt peer leaders went on a field trip to the New Jersey Special Olympics Winter Games 2020. The event that the peer leader groups viewed was the speed skating event. While watching the event, the groups cheered on the contestants whilst holding up encouraging signs and banners.

The Special Olympics of New Jersey is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide sports training and athletic competition to children and adults with intellectual disabilities. The Special Olympics values are innovation, excellence, integrity, respect, inclusion, and these are the attributes that they expect in their athletes.

The Special Olympics began in  the 1950s and early 1960s, when Eunice Kennedy Shriver saw how unjustly and unfairly people with intellectual disabilities were treated. She also saw that many children with intellectual disabilities did not have a place to play. She decided to take action. She held a summer day camp for young people with intellectual disabilities in her own backyard. All of this was the beginning of the Special Olympics people know and love today.

Overall, the Special Olympics is a place where those with mental disabilities can go to compete in competitions without fear of judgment and the job of the people who watch the events in person is to cheer on the competitors and to make sure that everyone has a great time.

Below are pictures of the competitors during the event: