Special Olympics

“Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” 

-Special Olympics Oath

Special Olympics Participant
What is Special Olympics?

Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, providing year-round training and competitions. Special Olympics gives visibility to people with intellectual disabilities. Visibility is the first step toward a positive cycle of inclusion, understanding and respect.

Special Olympics in Wood County

The Wood County Board of Developmental Disabilities has operated the Special Olympics program since its creation in 1970 for youth and adults served by Wood Lane. In 1990, the program expanded to include youth who receive special education services from their local school district or the Wood County Educational Service Center.

Wood County Athletes

More than 500 people are actively participating in Special Olympics sports throughout Wood County. Athletes are eligible beginning at age 8. There is no maximum age limitation. Competition is based upon age, gender and ability.

Benefits of Special Olympics

Participation in sports goes beyond the experiences of training and competing. Involvement in Special Olympics gives people access to improved physical fitness, self-confidence and to expand their circle of friends in the community.

Athletes gain confidence when learning a new skill by interacting with other athletes and volunteers. These experiences enhance relationships, socialization, and help athletes discover new strengths, abilities, skills and success.

Athletes are a key part of the community as good neighbors, valuable employees and involved citizens.

Sports Offered

Track & Field

Athletes regularly train. Teams have practices typically two times per week. Games or events are scheduled, with certified officials, throughout each sport season. Athletes have the opportunity to advance to area, sectional and state competitions.

Special Olympics Volunteers

Volunteers are key to our success. More than 100 volunteers assist with our Special Olympics program by serving as coaches, assistants or chaperons at practices and competitions annually. Some volunteers enjoy the experience of training and playing alongside an athlete in a unified sport such as golf.

Get Involved

If you wish to participate in Special Olympics, please contact us.

If you would like to volunteer with Special Olympics, please register here.