The Origin of the Special Olympics Logo

We will be posting information on Special Olympics and our local Special Olympians here from time to time, so check back often for some inspiration.

The origin of the Special Olympics logo as told by a Special Olympian…

At one workshop I learned what the Special Olympics logo means.

The logo has five people who each have six arms. The “down” position means “downtrodden”, remembering a time when many people thought we were not able to make good decisions or try new things. This describes my life before I became involved in Special Olympics. I had few friends and spent most of my time alone.

The straight arms mean “equal”; we are the same in many ways. When I joined the Special Olympics swim team I found out I was the same as everyone else. No one cared that I could barley read or write. No one laughed that I was a lousy swimmer. For the first time in my life, I felt accepted for myself. I believe that acceptance gave me the determination to become the best swimmer I could. It also taught me how to be a friend and not judge others by what they cannot do.

The arms raised represent “joy” and realizing our ultimate goal. All goals should be challenging but reasonable. I have reached my goal of learning to swim, but now I have raised the bar and will advocated for a better state swim program. I reached my goal to be an assistant coach, but I challenge myself to help other athletes reach their goal of learning to dribble a basketball.