Special Olympics Kentucky


What is Special Olympics...Special Olympics is an international program of year-round sports training and athletic competition for more than one million children and adults with intellectual disabilities.


The Special Olympics Oath is...  "Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."   

Our Philosophy... Special Olympics is founded 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, adapted as necessary to meet the needs of those with special mental and physical limitations.

    Special Olympics believes that consistent training
, with emphasis on physical conditioning, is essential to the development of sports skills, and that competition among those of equal abilities is the most appropriate means of testing these skills, measuring progress and providing incentives for personal growth.
    Special Olympics believes that through sports training and competition, people with intellectual disabilities benefit physically, mentally, socially and spiritually; families are strengthened; and the community at large, both through participation and observation, is united with people with intellectual disabilities in an environment of equality, respect and acceptance.

    Special Olympics believes that every person with an intellectual disability who is at least eight years old should have the opportunity to participate in and benefit from sports training and competition.


Special Olympics Mission

Our Mission is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a  variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disablilties by giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate with their families, other Special Olypmics athletes and the community.

 Athlete Eligibility

.To be eligible to participate in Special Olympicsm an athlete must be at least eight years old and:

  •  been identified by an agency or professional as having an intellectual disabililty; 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. ***

** SIgnificant learning or vocational problems refer to those learning problems resulting from cognitive delays (intellectual impairment). These do not include physical disability, emotional or behavioral difficulties or specific disabilties such as dyslexia or speech or language.

*** Specially designed instruction refers to time when a person is receiving supportive education or remedial instruction directed at the cognitive delay. In the case of adults, specially-designed instruction is usually replaced with specially-designed programs in the workplace, or in the support work place, or in supported work or at home. 

Age Requirements

There is no maximum age limitation for participation in Special Olmypics. The minimum age requirement for participation in Special Olympics competition is 8 years of age. For children with intellectual disabilities ages 2-7, the Young Athlete Program strengthens physical development and self esteem by building skills for future sports participation and socialization.

Degree of Disability

Participation in Special Olympics training and competition is open to all persons with intellectual diabilities who meet the requirements, regardless of the level or degree of that person's disability, and whether or not that person also has other mental or physical disabilties, so long as that person registers to participate in Special Olympics are required by the general rules.

Once eligibilty is determined, an athlete must submit a Registration Form and a Medical Form.



The Russellville Recreation Department Provides Sports through Special Olympic Kentucky. For more information use the links under 'Special Olympics' to the right.