As An Athlete

Through the power of sports, people with intellectual disabilities discover new strengths, abilities, skills, and success. Our athletes find joy, confidence, and fulfillment — on the playing field and in life. They also inspire people in their communities and elsewhere to open their hearts to a wider world of human talents and potential. There are about 200 million people with intellectual disabilities around the world. The goal of Special Olympics is to reach out to every one of them – and their families as well.

To be eligible to compete in Special Olympics, an athlete must be at least eight years old and:

  • have been identified by an agency or professional as having an intellectual disability; or
  • have a cognitive delay (learn slower than their peers) as determined by standardized measures; or
  • have significant learning or vocational problems due to cognitive delays which require or have required specially-designed instruction.

Athlete Training is an integral part of the Special Olympics program! One of the founding principles of the Special Olympics movement states that “People with intellectual disabilities can, with proper instruction and encouragement, enjoy, learn and benefit from participation in individual and team sports. Consistent training under the guidance of qualified coaches, with emphasis on physical conditioning, is essential to the development of sports skills.

Every Special Olympics athlete should be a part of a local training program that practices no less than 6-8 weeks within the respective sport season. It is proven at every Special Olympics Tournament, Event, or Competition that the athletes who trained and who are prepared are those who perform to the best of their ability. Training is also important as it not only prepares athletes for competition but allows them the opportunity to socialize and be with friends.

Join Special Olympics by Registering to Participate

If you are an interested athlete or know of an athlete interested in joining the Special Olympics Hamilton County team, please fill out the Athlete Interest Form.

The Athlete Application for Participation (Medical Form PDF) will need to be completed and signed by a doctor before athlete participation.

We will also need each athlete to submit an Athlete Code of Conduct (PDF).

In order for an Athlete to participate all five pages of the medical form must be completed.

  • Athlete Registration, 2 pages of health History, Physical exam and Athlete Release form
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