Athletes are the core of the Special Olympics movement and the meaning behind everything we do through our association with Special Olympics Colorado. Special Olympics Colorado strives to create new and innovative programming while advancing our traditional programs that have become so popular for people with intellectual disabilities. We are excited to welcome new athletes and families and we hope you decide to join our family! In addition to having a great time, Special Olympics athletes benefit from:

  • Improved physical fitness and sports skills
  • Enhanced self-confidence and social competency
  • Greater readiness for employment
  • Better preparation for independent living
  • Increased ability to make personal decisions
  • Improved friendships and family relationships

Special Olympics Colorado athletes are children and adults with intellectual disabilities. We encourage you to come out and compete, regardless of your of your experience or current skill level. We have many different types of sports so there’s plenty of great options to choose from. Plus, all of our programs are available to you free of charge!

Special Olympics Colorado athletes participate in a variety of competitions at the local, area, state, and international level. Special Olympics Colorado hosts more than 100 competitions. And, we have unique training events like the Denver Nuggets all-team clinic exclusive to Special Olympics athletes and a Unified soccer team that travels with the Colorado Rapids!

In Colorado, we host six statewide championships annually plus several area championships that serve as “qualifiers” for the state games. A select group of athletes in our state qualify to compete at the Special Olympics World Winter and Summer Games. The World Games are held every two years, alternating between Winter and Summer Games. These Games represent the highest caliber of competition and draw athletes from up to 170 counties. Special Olympics North America also hosts the USA Games once every four years where some of the state’s top individual athletes and teams are selected for competitions.

How To Register as an Athlete

Children and adults with intellectual disabilities who reside in Colorado are eligible to compete as athletes, and people without disabilities of all ages are invited to compete as Unified Partners (teammates), or to work with our athletes as event volunteers or volunteer coaches.

The following are a few simple steps to get you started and competing as a Special Olympics Athlete in Colorado:

Each prospective athlete should complete an Athlete Participation Medical Form, which includes a medical release that requires a signature from your doctor. If you choose to complete the Athlete Application (online version), save it as a PDF and print out your completed form to bring with you to your doctor’s office. Once you have the doctor’s signature, you may either drop off the form at our State Office (384 Inverness Parkway, Suite 100, Englewood, CO, 8012) or email the form to

Athlete Training

Prior to any Special Olympics Colorado competition, each athlete is required to engage in an extensive training program. As an athlete you will develop fitness and sports skills, and learn the rules and strategies from your coaches. To learn about any upcoming training programs in your area, please contact your Regional Manager.

Engage for a Lifetime

Child Bracket ages 2 and a half to seven.

Child Bracket ages 8 to 21.

Child Bracket ages 22 and up.

SOCO Programs

Special Olympics Unified Schools® is a national project, funded by the US Department of Education that is implemented within elementary, middle and high schools across the nation. Its goal is to activate youth around the country in an effort to promote the importance of inclusive school activities. Special Olympics Unified Schools is designed to change

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The mission of Special Olympics Healthy Athletes®, developed in 1996 by Special Olympics International, is to improve athletes’ ability to train and compete in Special Olympics. Healthy Athletes is designed to help Special Olympics athletes improve their health and fitness, leading to enhanced sports experience and improved well-being. Our goals with the Healthy Athletes program:

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Through the generosity of the Kroenke Sports Charities’ Teammates for Kids, in addition to support from Dick’s Sporting Goods and the Colorado Rapids, 20 athletes and coaches from Colorado will have the opportunity to join the Rapids in a one-of-a-kind experience. The unified team, which is comprised of players both with and without intellectual disabilities

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