Vision: We are a catalyst for inclusion! Special Olympics Washington is the leader in sports, health, and community building, empowering children and adults with intellectual disabilities to be valued on and off the playing field.
About: Through programming in sports, health, education and community building, Special Olympics is changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics removes barriers and stigmas that people with intellectual disabilities face, and so that they can share their gifts and talents with their communities. Everyone who comes in touch with Special Olympics is impacted in a way that helps them strive to achieve their personal best.
Participation: Persons with intellectual disabilities, regardless of ability level, may participate in sports and other programs offered by Special Olympics Washington. Individuals are eligible for training and competition at age eight and there is no upper age limit. 18,000 athletes participate in Special Olympics Washington activities; over 5 million athletes compete in Special Olympics programs in 174 countries.
Athlete Leadership Program: Athletes are provided the opportunity to expand personal growth — from coaching and officiating to public speaking and volunteering. Athletes are also invited to volunteer at local and state events, regardless of leadership training. Additionally every Area is encouraged to create Athlete Input Councils, giving vital feedback to Special Olympics Washington.
Training & Competition: Training and competition is offered year-round to Special Olympics athletes. Competition takes place at local, regional and state tournaments. Individuals and teams compete in divisions according to age, gender and ability.
Youth Activation: Special Olympics youth programs are education and sports based strategies powered by an engaged youth community that increases athletic and leadership opportunities for students with and without intellectual disabilities, while creating communities of acceptance.
Volunteers: More than 10,000 volunteers support Special Olympics Washington activities. Volunteers serve as coaches, sports officials, committee members and on-site volunteers at competitions and fundraising events. Coaches and officials are trained and certified at clinics offered by Special Olympics Washington. Over 1.1 million volunteers support Special Olympics programs worldwide.
Funding: Special Olympics Washington is a registered 501(c) (3) non-profit organization supported entirely by individual, corporate and foundation contributions. Athletes participate at no cost to themselves or their families.
Unified Sports: Athletes with intellectual disabilities pair with persons without disabilities and form teams for training and competition. Unified Sports integrates Special Olympics athletes with other athletes to build self-esteem and increase understanding of persons with different abilities.
Healthy Athletes: Special Olympics athletes are provided opportunities to improve health and fitness through dental, vision, hearing, feet and general health screenings. Physicians and healthcare professionals provide these services at no cost to Special Olympics athletes at tournaments.
Winter Season: Alpine Skiing, Basketball, Cheerleading, Cross Country Skiing, Skating, Snowboarding, Snowshoeing
Spring Season: Athletics (Track and Field), Cycling, Powerlifting, Soccer, Swimming
Summer Season: Bocce, Golf, Softball, Standup Paddle Boarding, Tennis
Fall Season: Bowling, Flag Football, Gymnastics, Volleyball
Young Athletes: An inclusive and welcoming learning environment for children with and without intellectual disabilities from ages 2 to 7 years old. Young Athletes programs provide a focus on teamwork while also teaching children basic sports skills such as running, kicking and throwing.