Special Olympics Michigan State Summer Games, 1974

Since its October 1972 founding, Special Olympics Michigan has been headquartered at Central Michigan University (CMU). In June 1973, in the first Special Olympics Michigan State Summer Olympics at CMU, approximately 1,600 athletes participated. Soon after, CMU was invited to bid to host the 1975 International Special Olympics Summer Games. During the 1974 State Summer Games (photo), members of the International Special Olympics organization, including founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver, visited Mount Pleasant to assess CMU/Mount Pleasant’s hosting of the State Games. The group subsequently selected CMU/Mount Pleasant to host the Fourth International Special Olympics Summer Games (August 13 – 18, 1975). Then, about 3,200 athletes from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and nine other countries came to Mount Pleasant for the games.

Determined young athletes, clad in popular canvas athletic shoes, take off from the starting line in a race at the 1974 Special Olympics Michigan State Summer Games held at Central Michigan University (CMU), Mount Pleasant.
Determined young athletes take off from the starting line in a race at the 1974 Special Olympics Michigan State Summer Games held at Central Michigan University.

The Special Olympics Michigan website states: “The mission of Special Olympics Michigan is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.” The 50l(c)(3) non-profit organization is supported almost entirely through corporate funding and individual gifts and relies on over 20,000 volunteers. Nearly 21,000 athletes participate in Special Olympics Michigan, a year-round program that offers 22 sports and is cost-free to athletes and their families. Special Olympics competitions take place at local, regional, state, national, and world levels.

About 6,000 athletes, coaches, chaperones, family members, volunteers, and spectators from across Michigan converged at CMU to participate in this year’s Special Olympics State Summer Games, held May 28 – 30. Photo and history courtesy of Clarke Historical Library, CMU, Mount Pleasant.


Since its October 1972 founding, Special Olympics Michigan has been headquartered at Central Michigan University (CMU). In June 1973, in the first Special Olympics Michigan State Summer Olympics at CMU, approximately 1,600 athletes participated. Soon after, CMU was invited to bid to host the 1975 International Special Olympics Summer Games. During the 1974 State Summer Games (photo), members of the International Special Olympics organization, including founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver, visited Mount Pleasant to assess CMU/Mount Pleasant’s hosting of the State Games. The group subsequently selected CMU/Mount Pleasant to host the Fourth International Special Olympics Summer Games (August 13 – 18, 1975). Then, about 3,200 athletes from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and nine other countries came to Mount Pleasant for the games.

Determined young athletes, clad in popular canvas athletic shoes, take off from the starting line in a race at the 1974 Special Olympics Michigan State Summer Games held at Central Michigan University (CMU), Mount Pleasant.
Determined young athletes take off from the starting line in a race at the 1974 Special Olympics Michigan State Summer Games held at Central Michigan University.

The Special Olympics Michigan website states: “The mission of Special Olympics Michigan is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.” The 50l(c)(3) non-profit organization is supported almost entirely through corporate funding and individual gifts and relies on over 20,000 volunteers. Nearly 21,000 athletes participate in Special Olympics Michigan, a year-round program that offers 22 sports and is cost-free to athletes and their families. Special Olympics competitions take place at local, regional, state, national, and world levels.

About 6,000 athletes, coaches, chaperones, family members, volunteers, and spectators from across Michigan converged at CMU to participate in this year’s Special Olympics State Summer Games, held May 28 – 30. Photo and history courtesy of Clarke Historical Library, CMU, Mount Pleasant.

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