Coke_special_olympics_muhtar_kentLast week we had a sports festival inside our headquarters. The reason for the celebration was a great one: We announced an extension of our partnership with the Special Olympics – through 2011.

Athletes from the Special Olympics were here, and our employees got to play sports such as ping pong and basketball with the athletes. (In fact, you can see our Company president, Muhtar Kent, here playing basketball at the event.)

This is actually the 40th anniversary of our partnership with Special Olympics. Coke became a founding partner of Special Olympics when the organization was established in 1968, and we’ve been involved with both the summer and winter World Games since 1979. And last year Muhtar joined the Special Olympics International Board of Directors.

Coke_special_olympics_polar_bearWhile I don’t usually quote from press releases here, I did want to share one part of the announcement about the extension. This is a quote from Muhtar on the connection between Coke and Special Olympics, and I think it sums things up quite nicely:

“It is appropriate that in a year when we celebrate the 40th anniversary of our founding partnership with Special Olympics that we further strengthen the ties that bond our organizations. It is a reflection that we are natural partners because we share the same values of inclusion, acceptance and optimism.”