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Why should I participate in Special Olympics?  Participating in Special Olympics year-round sports programs allows athletes to get physically fit, learn new skills, and participate in a wide variety of sports.  It’s also a great way to meet new friends and help you achieve new heights.

Who is eligible to participate in Special Olympics?  Anyone who has been identified as having an intellectual (or cognitive) disability by a medical professional is eligible to be involved in Special Olympics.  Athletes must be at least 8 years old to compete.  There is no upper age limit.

How much does it cost to participate?  There is no cost to join Special Olympics, nor is there a cost to train or compete.  Special Olympics raises funds through sponsorships, private donations and special events.

What sports are offered?  The sports available to you may vary depending on what your Local Program is able to offer due to facility and coach availability.  Special Olympics Oregon offers:

Winter Sports (December – March): 

  •  Alpine Skiing   
  • Cross-Country Skiing 
  • Snowboarding  
  • Snowshoeing 
  • Basketball  
  • Powerlifting

Spring/Summer Sports (April – July):

  • Athletics (Track & Field)   
  • Bocce   
  • Golf     
  • Softball

Fall Sports (August – November)

  • Aquatics   
  • Bowling   
  • Soccer   
  • Volleyball

How often do I practice?  Depending upon your sport, you’ll have one- to two-hour practice sessions once or twice a week for at least eight weeks before your first competition. 

How do I join? 
1.) Contact your Local Program for information.  You can find them on our website here. Or, you can call the Special Olympics Oregon main office at 503-248-0600.  They will provide you with the contact information for your Local Program, which is led by a team of volunteers.   

2.) A volunteer from your Local Program will provide you with an Application for Participation in Special Olympics Oregon – often referred to as the “athlete medical."

3.) Complete this form in full, and have your physician sign the medical release portion.  Return your form to the Local Program by the medical deadline date provided for the sport in which you are interested.  Once your form has been completed, the medical release is good for three years.

4.) Once your form is submitted, your Local Program will then be able to provide you with information regarding sports offered, and where and when training sessions are conducted. 

Why is a medical release required?  The medical release is similar to those required for participation in a school sports program.  It provides us with necessary information including a health history and emergency contact information.  The medical release is also required, because Special Olympics Oregon provides secondary insurance coverage. 


Special Olympics Oregon  Promotes Greater Respect

Amelia Abel of Eugene/Springfield: Her objective is to promote inclusiveness whenever and wherever she can.

“Amelia brought down the house at the Project UNIFY rally at Grant High School this spring when she called on every teen in the building to find ways to include those with differences in their lives. She is amazing,” Lilly Hart, 2011 graduate, Grant High School.

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