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On 29 February 2024, Special Olympics Australia celebrated 48 years of bringing joy, sport and inclusion to people with intellectual disability and autism. But why this day?

On 29 February 1976 – a leap day – Dr John Day was presented with a medal by our global headquarters. He gifted it to our archives with a note that said,

"I was presented with this medal in honour of members of the Gold Coast community who started Special Olympics in Australia."

It’s the earliest piece of evidence that Special Olympics existed in Australia, and we have long recognised this unique date as our birthday.

In response to our social post announcing our milestone, mum Carmel Jackson said,

“I hate to think what Therese and Anthony would have done without the wonderful friends and volunteers they have met over 33-years in Special Olympics and the skills and sports they have been able to enjoy along the way. Happy Birthday Special Olympics Australia.”