Special Olympics

  • Part of an international program, Special Olympics Illinois provides year-round sports training, competition and a variety of skill-building opportunities for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Athletes from every part of the state train for 8 weeks or more in 19 Olympic-type sports: alpine skiing, aquatics, athletics (track & field), basketball, bocce, bowling, cross-country skiing, equestrian, figure skating, floor hockey, golf, gymnastics, powerlifting, snowshoeing, soccer, softball, speed skating, tennis and volleyball. They are then eligible to participate at one or more of the 175 separate competitions held each year at the area local, district, regional and state levels, with athletes competing in divisions based on age, gender and ability level.
  • The benefits of Special Olympics Illinois extend beyond the field of competition. Through Special Olympics, athletes develop a sense of pride and hope. They enjoy greater confidence and self-esteem. And their participation increases society's overall awareness of what these courageous athletes can achieve when given the opportunity. 
  • Special Olympics Illinois relies solely on the contributions of corporations, individuals and civic organizations to make all of this possible. The organization is not funded by the Kennedy Foundation and is not a United Way agency. Nor does Special Olympics Illinois charge athletes or families to participate in the program. Your contributions support the nearly 22,000 Special Olympics athletes, and additional 13,000+ Young Athletes (between 2 and 7), who benefit from this truly unique programming.
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