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The softball throw is one of many field events in the sport of athletics.

This page draws together athletics-related information for all of Special Olympics. The coaching materials and other links will help you get a good sense of how this sport contributes to Special Olympics.


Get an overview of the sport of Special Olympics athletics.  View the Athletics Fact Sheet

The sport of athletics encourages athletes of all abilities and ages to compete at their optimum level. Through the track-and-field-based athletics training program, participants can develop total fitness to compete in any sport. As with all Special Olympics sports, athletics offers athletes the opportunity to learn through skill development and competitive settings and to be involved in large social settings.

Athletics Stories and News

August 14, 2015 | North America: District of Columbia

2015 World Games: Congratulation Demetrius!

By Maria-Nelly Johnson

Gold Medals 4x400M Relay Photo Courtesy Sean Maxey

From July 25-August 2 Special Olympics DC, Demetrius competed at the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles, California. Demetrius's hard work paid off.View Story From July 25-August 2 Special Olympics DC athlete Demetrius Cutchin competed at the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles, California. Demetrius's hard work paid off, he was awarded a bronze medal for the 100M Run with a time 00:12.63 , a fourth place ribbon for 400M Run with a time of 00:59.13, and his team was awarded the gold medal in the 4x400M Relay with a time of 04:33.60. The World Games was the largest sports and humanitarian event anywhere in the world in 2015. 6,500 athletes representing 165 countries, along with 30,000 volunteers participated in the 2015 Special Olympics World Games.

About Maria-Nelly Johnson:Special Olympics DC Staff
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August 03, 2015 | SOI General: Headquarters

Unified Participant Runs in Her Sister’s Memory

By Jill Hammergren

Each athlete at World Games had personal reasons for participating, but for Pamela King, she did it to honor the memory of her sister, Kristol, who died two years ago at the age of 20.View Story Each athlete at World Games had personal reasons for participating, but for Pamela King, she did it to honor the memory of her sister, Kristol, who died two years ago at the age of 20. “My sister had special needs. She had Downs Syndrome, Autism and Epilepsy. When she died, I decided that I would do what I could to keep her memory alive,” said King, who works for one of Special Olympics sponsors, Kaiser Permanente. “When I started working for Kaiser and they learned about my sister, they asked me to find 15 athletes to ride on the Rose Parade float and then I started coaching track and soccer for the Glendale Special Olympics teams.” King decided that she would take part in the half marathon at the World Games. She ran with her sister’s picture pinned to her t-shirt. “I cried through much of the race,” said King, “every time I hurt I thought of everything that my sister went through and kept telling myself I am going to finish the race. She’s the reason I got I got through it."

About Jill Hammergren:I am a volunteer with the Special Olympics International communications team at World Games.
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July 21, 2015 | Europe Eurasia: Isle of Man

Zoe Lambie

By Linda Lambie

Special Olympics means so much to her and to us as family members. She has gained so much confidence and made so many friends.View Story Zoe joined Special Olympics Isle of Man in 2009. She has Aspergers Syndrome and finds socialising and conversation difficult especially with people she is unfamiliar. Zoe initially joined because she had an interest in athletics but it became clear that she was very proficient in badminton. Special Olympics means so much to her and to us as family members. She has gained so much confidence and made so many friends. Zoe has competed in badminton in Poland, Athens and Belgium and now we are looking forward to the World Summer Games in Los Angeles. She has achieved two gold medals, three silver and one bronze. She is a superstar and I do not know what we would do without Special Olympics. We are one big happy family and everyone is so supportive. As a family we enjoy fundraising and any social occasions organised by Special Olympics. As parents we are so proud and for Zoe to be given the opportunity to compete and be part of such a wonderful organisation. We are truly grateful.

About Linda Lambie:I am married to Robbie and have two daughters - Zoe 22 and Katie 19. We live in Peel and I run a Playgroup for 2 to 4 year olds. I enjoy walking, gardening, sewing, reading, playing badminton and helping with Special Olympics.
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Athletics Events




March 31, 2016

Cherokee County Track & Field

Come and cheer on our athletes as they demonstrate their courage and determination for a day of athletics competition. This event will be held on March 31st at Gaffney High School in Gaffney, South Carolina. Support our athletes and experience sports in its truest form. For more details please use the contact information below.
For more information
Paula White
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Gaffney High School
149 Twin Lake Road

Gaffney, South Carolina

April 21, 2016

Area 7 Spring Games - Track & Field

Richland School District 1, 2, Fairfield County School Districts at Westwood High School. Athletes from Elementary, Middle and High Schools will compete in various track and field events. Young Athletes Program will also take place for athletes 2-7 years old.
For more information
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Westwood High School
180 S-40-1694

Blythewood, South Carolina

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Athletics/Track and Field Competitions

2014 European Summer Games

The Special Olympics European Summer Games featured 10 sports and 58 delegations, making the 2014 Games one of the largest ever. See stories and results

2014 Canada Summer Games

The Special Olympics 2014 Canada Summer Games was the largest Canadian Games ever. See results and teams.

2014 USA Games

The 2014 Special Olympics USA Games ran June 14-21. See results and stories.

2014 Southern California Summer Invitational Games

Special Olympics athletes from Southern California and from around the world competed in Los Angeles. See results and teams.

2013 Asia Pacific Games

Athletes from 30 Asia Pacific and East Asia regions compete in the inaugural Special Olympics 2013 Asia Pacific Games. Get schedules and results.

2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games

Athens, Greece, was the home of the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games. That year, it was the world’s largest sporting event for athletes with intellectual disabilities. See results by athlete, delegation and bib number.

How to Get Involved in Special Olympics

Special Olympics sports training, coaching and competitions go on in more than 170 countries around the world. You can get involved by getting in touch with the closest Special Olympics office.

Special Olympics near you»

Made Possible by The Annenberg Foundation

The Special Olympics movement is profoundly grateful for the support of the Annenberg Foundation which has underwritten the production of the coaches’ guides and resources, supporting our global goals for coaches’ excellence.


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Videos and Photos

Coaching in SerbiaCoaches from three countries met in Serbia to hone their skills.See slideshow »

Videos and Photos

In Deep WaterGo feet first for one of the newest Special Olympics sports.See Slideshow »

Videos and Photos

Summer SportsOur athletes run, jump, swim and score in summer.See Slideshow »

Videos and Photos

Power of SportsSports are a powerful way to change our athlete’s lives.See Slideshow »

Videos and Photos

First Unity CupSpecial Olympics uses football to promote understanding.See Slideshow »

Videos and Photos

What We DoSports, health, education, community and more.See Slideshow »


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