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.
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.
The Special Olympics Washington golf program is centered on two educational phases designed to encompass all skill levels: learning to swing a golf club and learning to play the game. Golf is an increasingly popular sport that offers training and competition for athletes of all levels. Included in the state’s programming is an emphasis on individual skills, as well as high level play on golf courses.
Golf made its debut at the 1995 Special Olympics World Summer Games in New Haven, Connecticut.
Special Olympics Washington proudly sent golfer Jordan Broderson to the 2015 World Games in L.A.
In Special Olympics Powerlifting is much more than deadlift, squat or bench press. It is effort, persistence and loyalty. Training, determination and attitude, are the key facts that define the balance between a successful or a failed attempt. The bar may test an athlete’s physical abilities, but an internal desire to improve — to not settle for less — is the drive behind the strain and dedication of the sport.
Special Olympics powerlifters are eligible to compete in three lifts: the bench press, the deadlift and the squat, or in combinations of these events.
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.
The game of volleyball is attractive to all types of players, from competitive to recreational, young and old. To play volleyball players need to acquire a few basic skills, learn a few rules, require very little equipment, and can play the game almost anywhere - from the beach to the gym. The aim of the sport is to score more points by hitting the ball with the hands and sending it over the net to the opponent's court.