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Special Olympic Games was originally created to help people with intellectual impairments and to persue a personal realization. In March 1963, Ms. Eunice Kennedy Shriver started a day camp for people with intellectual impairments in her own home. The purpose of this day camp was to find the participants’ potential through various sports and physical activities. As the day camp grew in popularity, and with the support of Joseph, P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation, it soon developed into a regional organization. The camp slowly grew to a state-level organization eventually extending internationally to be known today as the Special Olympic Games. In 1977, Special Olympic Games was introduced into Korea by Seong-su Kim, the principal of St. Bedero school and an epicospal bishop. Mr. Kim founded the Special Olympics Korea in May 1978 and put all his effort in promoting this committee nationally. He dispatched athletes to the fifth (Aug. 1978) and the sixth (Jul. 1983) International Special Olympic Games, to the 10th (May. 1978) Asia-Pacific Special Olympic Games, and to the first (Oct. 1981) and the second (Nov. 1982) Japan Special Olympic Games as well.
Despite his efforts, the committee was neither approved as an organization nor was it developed into a national level committee. The obstacles lied on the fact that the athletes he had dispatched were limited to the students of St. Peter’s School. To overcome this limitation Special Olympics Korea was reorganized in September 1985 with the input of The Special Olympics International. This resulted in Korea’s participation in the seventh and the eighth World Games. In the seventh Special Olympic Games, 35 people (14 athletes and 21 officers) participated and won 4 gold medals from athletics and 2 bronze medals from football. In the eighth games where 32 athletes, 15 officers, and 5 volunteers participated, the committee obtained an outstanding result both qualitatively and quantitatively, winning total 24 medals-10 golds (athletics 6, swimming 3, and table tennis 1), 6 silvers (athletics 3, swimming 1, and table tennis 2), and 8 bronzes (athletics 5, swimming 2, and table tennis 1).
|TEAM KOREA PARTICIPATION|
|14th||2015||Los Angeles, USA||177Countries/6,500||133(94/39)|
|10th||1999||North Carolina, USA||100Countries/7,000||30(8/22)|
|5th||1979||New York, USA||16Countries/2,500||?|
|3rd||1972||Los Angeles, USA||4Countries/1,500||?|