Every day, Special Olympics athletes demonstrate courage, adhering to the Special Olympics athlete’s oath, “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”
Participation in Special Olympics training and competitive events is open to all people with intellectual disabilities regardless of their degree of challenge. Athletes age 8 and older may participate in Special Olympics training programs and competitions. Athletes can continue to compete for the rest of their lives.
Delaware County currently offers these sports.
To be eligible to participate in Special Olympics, athletes must have an intellectual disability; a cognitive delay, or a development disability, that is, functional limitations in both general learning and adaptive skills. Participation in Special Olympics starts at age 8 years, and there’s no maximum age limit. Children with intellectual disabilities ages 2 through 7 can take part in the Young Athletes Program (YAP), either at home or through a nearby Special Olympics program. People without intellectual disabilities can take part in Unified Sports, teams that mix people with and without intellectual disabilities.
If you are interested in becoming an athlete, please contact our program manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that before an athlete can begin Special Olympics sports training, the athlete’s parent/guardian must complete an Application for Participation (aka Medical). A signature from authorized medical personnel is required on the form. Authorized medical personnel to include CRNPs, FNPs, and PAs (in addition to MDs and DOs already authorized). The form must be updated every three years.
The completed athlete participation form must be submitted to the county before any athlete can participate.
By participating in Special Olympics, athletes:
- Gain self-confidence and self-esteem
- Experience friendship on and off the field
- Are perceived as competent by their families, coaches and event spectators
- Enjoy being part of the large Special Olympics social network
- Receive much needed health screenings
- Are more physically active even outside SO activities
- Are more likely to hold jobs in the community
- Are more likely to socialize with non-disabled peers