History of Odyssey of the Mind

The Odyssey of the Mind program was started in 1978 by Dr. C. Samuel Micklus, a professor at Rowan University in New Jersey. That first competition, known as "Olympics of the Mind", involved teams from 28 New Jersey schools; now, the program is international, with teams from Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Siberia, Singapore, Slovakia, the United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, and West Africa competing in addition to those from the United States.

In 1999, a rift in the Odyssey board of directors over the profit status of the organization led to the formation of a separate organization, Destination Imagination, a non-profit that runs a program similar to Odyssey of the Mind.