Special Olympics International
1995 'Court of Honor' Selection
In recognition of its work with children and adults with mental retardation, Special Olympics International is to be enshrined in the Court of Honor at the Volleyball Hall of Fame. The Court of Honor was established in 1988 to honor a team or an organization for its significant contributions and commitment to the sport of volleyball.
Special Olympics, headquartered in Washington D. C. is an international program of year-round sports training and athletic competition for individuals with mental retardation. All 50 states have chapter offices and more than 143 countries have accredited programs. The sport of volleyball has grown in Special Olympic competition in the last 12 years from 30% of chapters in the United States to 80% competing at the Chapter State Games. Over 20,000 volunteers have been trained as volleyball coaches, over 60,000 athletes now participate in organized competition and over 60 national programs have competition on a regular basis.
On the international level, each World Games has volleyball team competition and individual skills contests in which athletes receive medals and awards. Participation in these games has increased significantly from 18 teams in 1983 to 56 teams in 1995
Women did not compete in 1983, however 23 women's teams competed in 1995.
"It is gratifying to the volleyball community and the Hall of Fame that volleyball has become such a popular featured sport in the Special Olympics," according to Alexander Stetynski, president of the Hall of Fame, "The Hall is pleased to be honoring the Special Olympics International during volleyballs centennial year for its work in promoting the sport worldwide and bringing its excitement to Special Olympians."