Athletes


Become an Athlete

In Special Olympics, the athletes are the heart of the movement. Our athletes not only have the opportunity to develop physical fitness and become competitive athletes, but through sport, they build self-esteem, social skills, friendships, leadership skills, have fun and learn life lessons that translate into their lives away from the playing field, making them more productive and accepted members of society.  No matter what your ability level, you can benefit from Special Olympics. And no matter what your interest, there is a sport for you. There is no charge to participate in Special Olympics.

We offer sports training and competition for athletes 8 years or older. Check the eligibility requirements to participate.


Initial Step

Whether you wish to become a Special Olympics athlete or a Unified Partner, we take steps to ensure that you and your fellow athletes and volunteers have the best experience possible. The information and forms found on this page will help you know what is expected of Special Olympics athletes and Unified partners and what forms are required prior to participation.

Persons with intellectual disabilities must submit the following forms:

Persons without disabilities (called Unified partners) who wish to participate in our Unified Sports® program must submit this registration form.

Second Step

Once you have downloaded and completed the necessary forms for participation, please email them to the sports contact dedicated to your county or region using the interactive map or region/county selector.  They will help you begin your journey!



Need assistance in receiving a sports physical?  Request a voucher via our partnership with MinuteClinic.