Special Olympics is an organized athletic competition for retarded children and adults at the local, national, and international levels. Since its creation in 1968 with funds from the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation, the Special Olympics has grown to include more than one million participants in the United States and 35 foreign countries. The program cycle culminates in August of the year before the regular summer Olympic games. A recent addition includes winter sports, for which competitions are held in about 30 states. The First International Winter Special Olympics, conducted in 1977, attracted more than 500 participants for skiing and skating events. Local Special Olympics competitions are conducted in more than 10,000 communities worldwide.