Special Olympics is an international organization that changes lives by promoting understanding, acceptance and inclusion between people with and without intellectual disabilities. Through year-round sports training, athletic competition and other related programming for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, Special Olympics has created a model community that celebrates people's diverse abilities and develops the full potential of individuals. The movement

1.4 million athletes, with a goal of 2 million by 2005

More than 200 Special Olympics Programs in 150 countries

26 Olympic-type summer and winter sports

7 regional offices around the world, including Belgium, Egypt, South Africa, India, China, Panama and the United States

Approximately 500,000 volunteers

More than 140,000 coaches

More than 20,000 competitions around the world each year

Special Olympics China is part of the Special Olympics East Asia region, which also includes Programs in Hong Kong, Macau and Taipei. Special Olympics China currently serves more than 300,000 athletes in China's 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions, with a goal to reach 500,000 athletes by 2005. Nineteen different sports are currently offered: this will increase to 23 sports by 2007 when Shanghai hosts the Special Olympics World Summer Games. The organization is headquartered in Beijing and serves as the center of operations for the Special Olympics movement in China.

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