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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.


300x200-Athletics

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


December 01, 2014 | Latin America: Argentina

High School Unified Partners

By Antonela Balbo and Delfina Sponda

Delfina and Antonela of Buenos Aires, Argentina took part in a Unified Athletics tournament held at their school. After the event they both agreed that it was a very enriching and mobilizing experience for them.View Story Delfina and Antonela are two 16-year-old high school schoolmates. Because Special Olympics has an alliance with their school, they took part in a Unified Athletics tournament held at their school. They both expressed that their were nervous at first, because none of them had experience with people with special needs. After the event they both agreed that it was a very enriching and mobilizing experience for them. They realized how they give things for granted in their daily life and appreciated the effort and joy the athletes show while participating in sports. They both want to continue to take part in Unified Sports activities and would totally recommend it to their friends and acquaintances. They both went home that day being really greatfull for the experience.

About Antonela Balbo and Delfina Sponda:High School students from the city of Pilar in Buenos Aires, Argentina
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December 01, 2014 | North America: Florida

Autism & Special Olympics - Always An Adventure!

By Lora Brewer

Brewer Brothers Ready for Action

For the past 15 years, the Brewer family has trying to find programs for their sons with autism. All boundaries for these two boys have been destroyed since they discovered Special Olympics.View Story For the past 15 years, the Brewer family has been coping with both of their sons being diagnosed with autism. At times it is very difficult to find programs that encourage them to venture outside of their comfort zones due to their limitations. All boundaries for these two boys have been destroyed since we discovered Special Olympics in Volusia County, FL. They have participated in soccer, track, surfing, and paddle boarding. I have seen their confidence and self-esteem grow with each accomplishment. The coaches and volunteers work with them beautifully while maintaining the continuity of the sport they are participating in. They both qualified to compete in Cocoa Beach this year and had a fantastic time. Special Olympics has helped draw our family closer as we became cheerleaders for AJ and Jimmy at every event. We look forward to 2015 and all of the new adventures that await us as we continue to participate with Special Olympics and reach higher than before.

About Lora Brewer:I am the mom of two teenagers with Autism and other neurological disorders. I teach special needs students at Monarch Academy in Daytona Beach, Florida. We are actively involved with autism programs in central Florida. Some days it feels like we might not make it through, but our motto is that "Every Day is an Adventure" and we work hard to make the most out of each challenge and continue to push the limits of what we can accomplish.
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November 26, 2014 | Africa: Kenya

Special Olympics Kenya National Games unite a community.

By Mr John Makhathimo

At the Special Olympics Kenya National Games, 157 athletes and partners could not contain their excitement as they marched onto the field to acknowledge their supporters. They competed in athletics, unified basketball, unified beach volley ball, handball, and 5-aside football to secure their place in the National Team.View Story The Special Olympics Kenya National Games took place during August at the University of Nairobi sports grounds. 157 athletes and partners could not contain their excitement as they marched onto the field to acknowledge their supporters. They competed in athletics, unified basketball, unified beach volley ball, handball, and 5-aside football to secure their place in the National Team. This great event would not have been possible without the support of individuals, organisations and the community as a whole. Special Olympics Kenya staff and volunteers that worked tirelessly to make sure the event ran smoothly, and members of the community came in numbers to support and cheer on the athletes. Special Olympics Africa Program Development Manager, Mr. Joe Mutua, was among the guests of honour at the event. The event was generously supported by the UON family support network, the coaches’ fraternity, and Friends of Special Olympics Kenya (FOSK). Lunch was donated by Mr. & Mrs. Kariuki Kagondu and Mr. & Mrs. Parker, and water and refreshments were taken care by Ms. Jacky Mwangi. Mrs. Lenah Agare was the events medical personnel and first aider, and the UON allowed the program to use its sports facilities and other amenities. The event received tremendous electronic media coverage helping create much needed exposure and awareness for the program. Special Olympics creates communities of support everywhere it goes. We hold 50,000 competitions a year -- about 136 each day. Our Games and competitions bring together athletes, coaches, volunteers, supporters and leaders of the community. Special Olympics knows no boundaries. Without regard to gender, race, religion, economic or education level, Special Olympics has the ability to unite all walks of life. This spirit of generosity, inclusion and volunteerism helps to connect the community as a whole. In this way, we will build a stronger, safer world.

About Mr John Makhathimo:Special Olympics Kenya National Director
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Athletics Events


Date

Event

Location

May 15 - 16 2015

Florida State Summer Games

Special Olympics Florida’s Summer Games are the largest event on the calendar with athletes competing in athletics (track & field), bocce, cycling, soccer, tennis, and volleyball. This event is held annually at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and kicks off with an exciting Olympic-style opening ceremonies featuring the final leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run. It concludes on Saturday night with closing ceremonies and the much anticipated victory dance.
For more information
More Details
Akin Joseph
Email:akinjoseph@sofl.org
Phone:352-243-9536
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ESPN Wide World of Sports
700 South Victory Way

Lake Buena Vista, Florida
UNITED STATES

May 28 - 30 2015

South Dakota State Summer Games

This will be our 47th annual State Summer Games Competition. Approximately 600 athletes are expected to compete in athletics, aquatics, team soccer, individual soccer skills, powerlifting and volleyball. See you there!
For more information
More Details
Johna Thum
Email:jthum@sosd.org
Phone:605-331-4117
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South Dakota State University Campus
Brookings, South Dakota
UNITED STATES

May 28 - 30 2015

Michigan State Summer Games

The State Summer Games is the largest Special Olympics Michigan event with 2,600 SOMI athletes along with an additional 3,400 coaches, volunteers, chaperones, family members, volunteers and spectators attending each year. The State Summer Games is one of six annual statewide competitions for the athletes of Special Olympics Michigan. The Special Olympics Michigan programs are offered at no cost to the athletes or their families. The State Summer Games are proudly presented by SpartanNash, the only Statewide Premiere Gold Medal Sponsor of Special Olympics Michigan.
For more information
More Details
Aaron Mills
Email:aaron.mills@somi.org
Phone:(989) 774-4393
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Central Michigan University
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
UNITED STATES

May 29 - 31 2015

2015 New Mexico State Summer Games

Join us for the largest state competition of the year May 29-31. Athletes from across the state will compete in track & field, bocce, and Unified volleyball at the University of New Mexico Track and Field Stadium. Come and cheer on our athletes and witness the power of sports. Hope to see you there!
For more information
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University of New Mexico Track and Field Stadium
Albuquerque, New Mexico
UNITED STATES

May 29 - 31 2015

Missouri State Summer Games

Join us May 29-31 for the 2015 Missouri State Summer Games in Springfield Missouri as our athletes showcase their skills over 3 days of sports competition. Athletes will compete in aquatics, soccer, track and field, powerlifting, and volleyball. For more details about the event please refer to link and contact info below.
For more information
More Details
Susan Shaffer
Email:shaffer@somo.org
Phone:573-635-1660
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Springfield, Missouri
UNITED STATES

Jun 5 - 6 2015

2015 Special Olympics Nevada Summer Games

Four hundred athletes and their volunteer coaches will come together at the University of Nevada, Reno to experience the thrill of competing against other athletes from all over Nevada. After weeks of training and participating at a qualifying competition, athletes will compete in aquatics or track & field in state-of-the-art collegiate athletic facilities on the UNR campus. Over 500 volunteers were on hand to fill a variety of volunteer positions over the course of the weekend. Summer Games is the culminating Championship for aquatics and track & field and is one of the largest Special Olympics sporting competitions in Nevada. The minimum age of the competitors is 8 years of age and there is no age limit cap. Spectators are welcome and admission is free.
For more information
More Details
Harry Mong
Email:HarryM@sonv.org
Phone:702-635-8237
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University of Nevada, Reno
1664 North Virginia St.

Reno, Nevada
UNITED STATES

Jun 5 - 7 2015

2015 Maryland Summer Games

Join us 5-7 June 2015 at Towson University in Towson, Maryland as our athletes compete in 3 days of exciting summer sports competition. Events will include: Aquatics – traditional individual events and team relays, Unified team relays; Athletics – traditional and Unified track, mini-javelin, high jump, long jump, pentathlon, softball throw, shot put, standing long jump, tennis ball throw; Bocce – singles, doubles, Unified doubles; Cheerleading – traditional and Unified team competition; Softball – traditional team competition, Unified team competition, individual skills competition. For schedule details please refer to the link, below.
For more information
Schedule Details
Mike Czarnowsky
Email:mczarnowsky@somd.org
Phone:410-242-1515
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Towson University
8000 York Ave

Towson, Maryland
UNITED STATES

Jun 5 - 7 2015

Kansas State Summer Games

Join us June 5-7 at Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas as our athletes participate and show their skill over 3 days of aquatics, athletics and tennis competition. See you there!
For more information
More Details
Tim Rehder
Email:rehdert@ksso.org
Phone:913-236-9290 X 108
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Wichita State University
Wichita, Kansas
UNITED STATES

June 12, 2015

Virgina State Summer Games

Summer Games, our largest State Games, is nothing short of legendary thanks to the overwhelming support of more than 3,000 local volunteers who brave the summer heat to assist more than 1,300 Special Olympics Virginia athletes each June. Athletes come from all corners of the state to compete in bocce, swimming, softball, track & field, bowling, powerlifting, and tennis at the University of Richmond and surrounding venues in Richmond. We are fortunate to have all of our Event Volunteer needs assigned for this year's Summer Games. We are currently recruiting Volunteer to Cheer fans and Medical Team members!
For more information
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University of Richmond and surrounding venues
Richmond , Virginia
UNITED STATES

Jun 12 - 14 2015

Illinois Summer Games

Summer Games is Special Olympics Illinois premiere sports competition with more than 4,000 athletes and Unified Partners competing in 6 different sports, along with 1,600 coaches, 2,500 volunteers and 3,300 family members. That totals more than 11,400 people who attend Summer Games! The Summer Games are held at Illinois State University in Normal and the Illinois Wesleyan University campus in Bloomington. A variety of activities are provided for the participants in addition to the sports competitions. Competition will be offered in athletics, aquatics, bocce, Unified bocce, gymnastics, football (soccer) and powerlifting. The public is invited and encouraged to attend any and all parts of Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games. Hope to see you there!
For more information
More Details
David Shindley
Email:dshindley@soill.org
Phone:309-888-2551
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ISU & IWU Campus
Bloomington-Normal, Illinois
UNITED STATES

Jun 26 - 28 2015

2015 Northern California Summer Games

Summer Games is the culminating competition for our spring sports season and is one of the largest Special Olympics sporting competitions in Northern California. After weeks of training and competing at a Regional competition, athletes will compete in aquatics, bocce, tennis or track & field. Over 1,200 volunteers will be on hand to fill a variety of volunteer positions over the course of the weekend. Spectators are welcome and there is no charge for admission.
For more information
More Details
Jeff Ruthenberg
Email:JeffR@sonc.org
Phone:916-375-1930
View More

UC Davis
One Shileld Pl.

Davis, California
UNITED STATES

Jul 24 - Aug 2 2015

World Summer Games Los Angeles 2015

In July of 2015 more than 7,000 athletes from 170 countries will come to Los Angeles, California for the Special Olympics World Summer Games and enjoy 10 days full of joy, friendship and competition. Athletes will compete in 22 sports. The event expects to attract 500,000 spectators and 30,000 volunteers and 3,000 coaches.
For more information
More Details
World Summer Games Los Angeles 2015
Email:info@la2015.org
Phone:213-892-6018
View More

Various Locations, Los Angeles
Los Angeles , California
UNITED STATES

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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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