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20 July 1968
Together with the Chicago Park District, the Kennedy Foundation plans and underwrites the First International Special Olympics Summer Games, held in Chicago's Soldier Field, with 1,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities from 26 U.S. states and Canada competing in athletics, floor hockey and aquatics.
13-15 August 1970
The Second International Special Olympics Summer Games take place in Chicago, Illinois, with 2,000 athletes from all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, France and Puerto Rico.
13-18 August 1972
The Third International Special Olympics Summer Games take place at the University of California-Los Angeles with 2,500 participants.
7-11 August 1975
The Fourth International Special Olympics Summer Games take place at Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, with 3,200 athletes from 10 countries taking part. The Games are broadcast nationwide on CBS-TV's "Sports Spectacular."
5-11 February 1977
The First International Special Olympics Winter Games are held in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, with more than 500 athletes competing in skiing and skating events. CBS, ABC and NBC television networks cover the Games.
8-13 August 1979
The Fifth International Special Olympics Summer Games take place at the State University of New York at Brockport, with more than 3,500 athletes from every state in the United States and more than 20 countries.
8-13 March 1981
The Second International Special Olympics Winter Games are held at the Village of Smugglers' Notch and Stowe, Vermont, with more than 600 Alpine and cross-country skiers and ice skaters participating.
12-18 July 1983
The Sixth International Special Olympics Summer Games are held at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. A crowd of more than 60,000 attends the Opening Ceremonies and approximately 4,000 athletes participate.
24-29 March 1985
Athletes from 14 countries are represented in skiing and skating events at the Third International Special Olympics Winter Games in Park City, Utah.
31 July-8 August 1987
The University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary's College in South Bend, Indiana, host the Seventh International Special Olympics Summer Games. More than 4,700 athletes from more than 70 countries participate in 1987's largest amateur sports event. The Games are covered in Sports Illustrated and Time, and reach more than 150 million people worldwide.
1-8 April 1989
The Fourth International Special Olympics Winter Games are held in Reno, Nevada, and Lake Tahoe, California. More than 1,000 athletes from 18 countries participate.
19-27 July 1991
The Eighth Special Olympics World Summer Games* are held in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota. Six thousand athletes from more than 100 countries make this the largest sporting event in the world in 1991. ( * The official name changes in 1991 from International Games to Special Olympics World Summer or World Winter Games.)
20-27 March 1993
The Fifth Special Olympics World Winter Games are held in Salzburg and Schladming, Austria, with 1,600 athletes from more than 50 countries participating in five winter sports. These are the first World Winter Games held outside North America.
1-9 July 1995
More than 7,000 athletes from 143 countries gather in New Haven, Connecticut, for competition in 21 sports at the Ninth Special Olympics World Summer Games.
1-8 February 1997
Nearly 2,000 athletes from 73 countries compete in five Olympic-type winter sports in Toronto/Collingwood, Ontario, Canada, for the Sixth Special Olympics World Winter Games. This event is the world's largest winter multisport event in 1997.
26 June-4 July 1999
The Tenth Special Olympics World Summer Games are held in the Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill area (Triangle) in North Carolina. More than 7,000 athletes representing 150 countries compete in 19 sports.
4-11 March 2001
More than 1,800 athletes representing approximately 70 countries compete in seven Olympic-type winter sports at the 2001 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Anchorage, Alaska. The Games are the largest sporting event ever held in the history of Alaska.
21-29 June, 2003
The 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Dublin, Ireland are the first summer Games ever held outside the United States, and are also the world's largest sporting event for 2003. More than 6,500 athletes from 150 countries participate in 18 competitive and three demonstration sports.
26 February - 5 March, 2005
The 2005 Special Olympics World Winter Games, held in Nagano, Japan, were the first World Games held in Asia. The Games drew more than 1,800 athletes from 84 countries, and thousands of families, volunteers, spectators and journalists from around the world as Nagano became the first city in the world to host the Olympics, Paralympics and Special Olympics World Games.
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