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 was an event at the first Special Olympics International Games held in Chicago, Illinois in 1968.
Basketball is one of the top sports for Special Olympics Washington. Players take it up at all ages and at all abilities, from young players learning to handle the ball and keep it under control while dribbling to older, more experienced players who have the moves and know the strategies to play challenging ball. We offer team events as well as individual skills competitions that help athletes train and compete in basic basketball skills before advancing to team play.
It is also one of the favorite sports for the Special Olympics Unified Sports initiative, when players with and without intellectual disabilities form teams to play other unified teams. It's a learning experience that brings together communities and helps foster a spirit of inclusion.
Fun Facts: Basketball was first introduced in 1968 at the first Special Olympics Games in Chicago, Il.
Bocce is a game of skill and strategy. Athletes can participate in Unified Sports® events. Unified Sports® is a program that assigns Special Olympics athletes and athletes without intellectual disabilities (partners) to the same teams for training and competition.
In Unified Bocce, a doubles team consists of one Special Olympics athlete and one partner; a traditional team consists of two Special Olympics athletes and two partners. As in all Special Olympics sports, athletes are grouped in competition divisions according to ability level, age and gender.
Bocce was introduced at the World Games level for the first time in 1995.
Bowling is one of the fastest growing Special Olympics sports. Although there are some modifications made for athletes with various abilities, most athletes compete under the same rules and circumstances as athletes on a professional tour.
Bowling may not be an Olympic sport, but it is among the most popular sports in Special Olympics. It 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.
Bowling is Special Olympics Washington's largest sport with over 4,177 Athletes and Unified Partners competing!
Cycling is a fascinating sport that requires good physical condition, balance, endurance and tactics. Special Olympics Washington includes time trial and road race events in different distances. Every athlete riding his/ her bike aims at traveling at the best possible time and arrive at the finish line first. Training in Cycling improves concentration and motor skills while increasing each athlete’s general fitness.
Fun Fact: Special Olympics Washington was honored to send Yakima cyclist Jamie Hopper and cycling coach Jamie Werner, from Auburn, to the 2015 World Games in L.A.
Flag Football is one of the newest sports offered by Special Olympics Washington. Flag football is offered as a Unified Sport, which means individuals with and without disabilities are on the same team.
Special Olympics Washington Unified Flag Football consists of two teams of 5 and compete in twenty minute halfs.
In one of the Seahawks 2016 Pre-Season Games athletes from Special Olympics Washington got to play an exhibition Flag Football game during halftime!
Special Olympics Washington is excited to be introducing new sports to our Programming. Currently, these sports are being played at the local level, but the more participation we get the more we can grow to offer them in new areas.
Please contact Marisue Harves for more information about how to get a team started!
Soccer is possibly the world's most popular team sport. Athletes have the opportunity to compete on teams as well as in Individual Skills Competition, which develops basic soccer skills. Special Olympics Washington is proud to host many Unified and Traditional Soccer Teams all across the state, with the number of athletes participation growing each season.
We are also very excited to have a booming partnership with the Sounders FC team. This partnership provides opportunities such as training camps with Sounders Players, Unified Exchanges with Unified Special Olympics teams from other states, and the crossbar challenge at half time during home Sounders games.
Special Olympics softball is an exciting team sport. Athletes can participate in individual skills, coach pitch, or traditional slow-pitch. The softball individual skills competition allows athletes to train and compete in basic softball skills. The development of these key skills is necessary prior to advancing to team competition. These skills include base running, fielding and throwing. A player’s final score is determined by adding up his or her scores in the different events.
As in all Special Olympics sports, athletes are grouped in competition divisions according to ability level, age and gender.
Special Olympics softball was introduced in 1983.
Swimming is one of the most popular sports in world. Unlike other sports, swimming is a life skill that is taught, first, to ensure safety and, secondly, for sports and competition purposes. Aquatics covers a great variety of swimming skills, from short sprints to longer events and relays.