The sport of athletics involves competitive running, jumping, throwing and walking which forms the foundation of most of the sports in Special Olympics. Through the track-and-field-based athletics training program, athletes of all abilities and ages are trained to develop total fitness to compete at their optimum level.
Badminton is a sport that brings wholesome benefits to all who pick up a rack as it trains agility, reaction time, muscular strength and endurance all within one activity. It is also a sport that is gaining traction and popularity all around the world for millions of people of a wide range of ages.
Basketball is a team sport where one team, usually consisting of five players a side, play against each other on a rectangular court and win by scoring points shooting the ball through the hoop. Heart pumping fun and excitement, it is one of the top sports at Special Olympics when players with and without intellectual disabilities form teams to play against other unified teams. It's a learning experience for all driving towards our global mission of awareness and inclusiveness.
Bowling is a competitive sport in which a bowler rolls a bowling ball down a wooden or synthetic lane with the objective of scoring points by knocking down as many pins as possible. Special Olympics Bowling allows for the use of bowling ball ramps by athletes who do not have the physical ability to roll a ball with their hand or hands. Bowling is a particularly beneficial sport to people with intellectual disabilities, irrespective of their age or sports abilities, since it ensures physical exercise and at the same time participation and social integration.
DanceSport became a recognized Sport in March 2019 during the World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi. This sport covers all types of dance styles such as Ballroom, Streetdance (Hip Hop, Breaking, Locking, Electric Boogie etc.) Performing Arts (Modern, Ballet, Jazz Dance, Contemporary etc.) and Specialty (LaBlast, Folk Dance) and offers trainings and competitions for Solos, Duos, Couples and Teams.
Football (Americans call it soccer) is possibly the world's most popular team sport. It's also Special Olympics' most popular sport. Famously dubbed as ‘The beautiful game’ as the sport is so beloved for its sheer unpredictability, ability to bring communities together through fanhood
Floorball is a versatile indoor team sport developed in the 1970s in Sweden, played in a rink with five field players plus a goalkeeper in each team. It is a hockey style game played with plastic sticks and a light ball and with a goalkeeper without a stick. An exciting game that promotes quick transition and fluid game play, with the main objective to score more goals than the opposite team.
Special Olympics Young Athletes is an early childhood play program for children with and without intellectual disabilities, ages 2 to 7 years old. Young Athletes introduces basic sport skills, like running, kicking and throwing. Young Athletes offers families, teachers, caregivers and people from the community the chance to share the joy of sports with all children.
Family Support Network
The Family Support Network is based on the premise that family members of Special Olympics athletes are valuable and have an important role to play in Special Olympics outreach. Today, thousands of family members of Special Olympics athletes serve as key leaders and sources of support for one another as they attend training, competitions, meetings and other activities together.
The Healthy Athletes initiative is dedicated to providing health services and education to Special Olympics athletes, and changing the way health systems interact with people with intellectual disabilities. The impact of these screenings on the health and wellness of Special Olympics athletes around the world is significant. Healthy Athletes has discovered undetected health problems, alleviated pain and provided health services that otherwise would not be available.