Special Olympics International
noun - Special Olympics International (or SOI) is part of the world's largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, providing year-round training and competitions to more than 3.7 million athletes in more than 170 countries. Special Olympics competitions are held every day, all over the world—including local, national and regional competitions, adding up to about 50,000 events a year. It also includes open water swimming competitions.
Alternating between summer and winter, Special Olympics International is responsible for organizing the Special Olympics World Games held every two years. Often the Games are the largest sporting event to take place in the world during that year. The most recent World Games were the Special Olympics World Summer Games, held in Athens, Greece, from June 25 to July 4, 2011. The 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games were in PyeongChang, South Korea and the next Special Olympics World Summer Games will be in Los Angeles, California USA in July 2015.
SOI offers free health screenings at its Healthy Athletes program in seven areas for its Special Olympics athletes: Fit Feet (podiatry), FUNfitness (physical therapy), Health Promotion (better health and well-being), Healthy Hearing (audiology), MedFest (sports physical exam), Opening Eyes (vision) and Special Smiles (dentistry). As a part of the vision screening, athletes are provided with free eye glasses.
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