Special Olympics New Mexico provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
In the summer of 1968, a global movement of empowerment, dignity, and celebration of the human spirit was launched as 1,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities gathered on Soldier Field in Chicago for the first Special Olympics International Games. Since that day, Special Olympics has spread across the globe reaching more than 3 million athletes in 180 countries. Special Olympics New Mexico Inc. (SONM) became part of the movement in the 1970’s and was incorporated in 1977.
SONM’s first State Competition was held at Milne Stadium in Albuquerque as just over 200 athletes from across the state competed in an Olympic sanctioned event for the first time. Our organization has continued to evolve, promoting the health and general wellness of individuals with intellectual disabilities by not only providing opportunities to train and compete in 13 sports locally and statewide, but nationally and internationally, as well. On an average, SONM athletes train for over 90,000 hours a year, gaining self confidence as they set and strive for goals, many for the first time in their lives. Sport training and competition is what Special Olympics does, and by doing it well, we have not only enriched the lives of our athletes and families, but the lives of all those who walk onto our playing fields.
SONM is is authorized and accredited by Special Olympics International, head-quartered in Washington, D.C. Special Olympics was created by the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation and is authorized by the International Olympic Committee to use the word “Olympics.” Mrs. Eunice Kennedy Shriver is the founder of Special Olympics International.
The ultimate goal of Special Olympics is to help persons with intellectual disabilities participate as productive and respected members of society at large, by offering them a fair opportunity to develop and demonstrate their skills and talents through sports training and competition, and by increasing the public’s awareness of their capabilities and needs.
Our Organizational Structure
Special Olympics New Mexico is a registered (501)(c)(3) non-profit organization governed by a Board of Directors. The Board establishes the policies and approves the programs for the state organization. Special Olympics New Mexico staff is headed by an executive director and is responsible for program planning, implementation and evaluation as well as public education, fundraising, organizational development and technical support. All funds are raised through individual and corporate donations, foundation grants, state government funding and special events. Special Olympics New Mexico does not receive funding from the Kennedy Foundation, the United Way, or the federal government.