It all 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 didn’t even have a place to play. She decided to take action. Soon, her vision began to take shape, as she held a summer day camp for young people with intellectual disabilities in her own backyard. The goal was to learn what these children could do in sports and other activities – and not dwell on what they could not do.
The Ninth Special Olympics World Summer Games were held in New Haven, Connecticut . More than 7,000 athletes from 143 countries gathered for competition in 21 sports. The opening and closing ceremonies were held in the Yale Bowl and various events were held around the New Haven area, including various events held in West Haven, Connecticut. This was the first Special Olympics world games that included unified sports. The hurdles and the marathon were included in athletics, squat lift was included in powerlifting, and the 40 km race was included in cycling.
The ESPN broadcasts were hosted by Mike Adamle.