The mission of Special Olympics Colorado is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendships with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
Special Olympics Colorado provides more than 100 opportunities for athletes to train and compete each year in 22 sports for individuals ages 2 and up. Participation with other athletes, Unified partners (typically developing peers), coaches, sponsors and volunteers builds confidence and creates opportunities to participate as productive and respected members of society by increasing public awareness of the athletes’ capabilities.
- Who Do We Serve in Colorado?
- 24,760+ Athletes
- 300+ Schools
- 13,000+ Volunteers
- 2,500+ Coaches
- 1,200+ Law Enforcement
- Who Do We Reach in Colorado?
- 110,000 P-16 Students
- 25,000 Families and Friends of Athlete
- Who are SOCO athletes?
- 47% of athletes are at or below the poverty line
- 53% are above the poverty line
- 61% identify as Caucasian, 31% identify as Latina/o, and 5% identify as African American, and 3% as Asian.
- They live in urban centers and rural corners of the state
- Athletes range in age from 2 to 80 years old
- An average athlete visits 50 different physicians until she or he can find one that can meet their needs
Special Olympics was founded in 1969 on the belief that people with intellectual disabilities can, with proper instruction and encouragement, learn, enjoy and benefit from participation in individual and team sports. Through the power of sports, people with intellectual disabilities discover new strengths and 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.
Special Olympics is the leading voice in raising awareness about the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities.
Through sports, we showcase the skills and dignity of our athletes. We also bring together communities to see and take part in the transformative power of sports. We know the odds our athletes must overcome and the barriers they face every single day. We see this at training events and competitions as our athletes push to beat their personal bests — and exceed them.
We believe in a world where there are millions of different abilities but not disabilities.
Special Olympics is also the world’s largest public health organization for people with intellectual disabilities. Many of our athletes come to us with neglected health problems. At World Games and other events, we offer a wide range of free health exams and care.
Our goal is to bring better fitness, nutrition and healthier lifestyles to everyone involved in Special Olympics — from athletes and their families, to coaches and volunteers.