SPECIAL Olympics Jamaica (SOJ) Executive Director Lorna Bell says the announcement that United States President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have committed to serve as honorary chairs of the 2015 Los Angeles Summer Games is "testament" to the significance of the movement.
"I think this is a testament of just how important these Games are to nation-building and to have the President of the United States of America and his wife finding it... to spend quality time with persons with intellectual disabilities is saying inclusion is the way and the only way to build a better world. No one is to be left out," said Bell.
The US president had said in a statement on the official Special Olympics website: "Michelle and I are so honoured to serve as co-chairs of this inspiring event. Special Olympics has a tradition that started more than 50 years ago... at Eunice Kennedy Shriver's house. Today, that simple camp has grown into one of the biggest sporting competitions in the world for people with intellectual disabilities.
"The athletes coming to these Games represent the grit and determination that's at the very root of the American spirit."
The late Kennedy Shriver, in whose honour the EKS Day was celebrated two days ago, started the Special Olympics International (SOI) movement in 1962.
The SOJ, on Saturday, played its part in celebrating the occasion by introducing coaching techniques to 25 new volunteers and putting on a game of bocce for interested individuals.
In bocce, players use an underarm action to bowl a ball at a target. Points are gained by the ball's proximity to the target.
The 2015 World Summer Games are expected to consist of approximately 30 sporting disciplines. The US are slated to host preparation Games in New Jersey, ahead of the showpiece event.
In the meantime, Jamaica have requested a quota of 69 athletes for the Summer Games. The sports the SOJ wish to compete in include aquatics, open water swim, athletics, marathon, basketball, badminton, bocce, unified team football and female futsal.
Earlier this year, the local body basked in the global spotlight thanks to Jamaica's headline-grabbing performances at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea.
The small island won silver medals in two ice figure skating categories to go with their second-place finish in floor hockey at the eight-day Championship.
Special Olympics is an international movement for people with intellectual disabilities that fosters inclusion and helps to highlight the struggles and accomplishments of these individuals.
The disabilities can either be acquired or genetic and can include cases of Down's Syndrome, autism, traumatic brain injury, and cerebral palsy.