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Empowering
Individuals
with Intellectual
Disabilities

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Special Olympics Washington is a Catalyst for Inclusion!

Thanks to your support of the Dream House Raffle, Special Olympics Washington empowers children and adults with intellectual disabilities to be valued on and off the playing field.

Since launching the Dream House Raffle in 2014, proceeds have enabled Special Olympics Washington to unlock financial constraints and open the door to new programs, more athletes, and even more reach across the state. Some of the highlights made possible by the Dream House Raffle include:

As we navigate through the continuing pandemic, one thing remains clear: Special Olympics Washington is a constant in the lives of our athletes. For individuals with intellectual disabilities in Washington, Special Olympics is often the only place where they can participate in physical activity, health education, and sports in their communities. The need to continue our programs is more vital than ever.

Our Mission

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 friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

Participation

Children and adults with intellectual disabilities, regardless of ability level, may participate in programs offered by Special Olympics Washington. Individuals are eligible for training and competition at age eight and there is no upper age limit. 19,500 athletes and Unified partners participate in Special Olympics Washington activities. Globally, more than 6.7 million participants compete in Special Olympics programs in more than 200 countries and jurisdictions.

No matter the person's age or skill level, Special Olympics Washington has something for everyone with intellectual disabilities. We deliver high-quality, year-round competition and training opportunities in an inclusive culture that stresses athletic excellence, rewards determination, emphasizes health, brings together communities and celebrates personal achievement.

Sports, Training & Competition

In addition to more than 20 sports offerings, Special Olympics Washington provides 180+ competitions year round to Special Olympics athletes. Competitions take place at local, regional and state tournaments. Individuals and teams compete in divisions according to age, gender and ability.

Winter Season: Alpine Skiing, Basketball, Cheerleading, Cross Country Skiing, Skating, Snowboarding, Snowshoeing

Spring Season: Athletics (Track and Field), Cycling, Powerlifting, Soccer, Swimming

Summer Season: Bocce, Golf, Softball, Standup Paddle Boarding, Tennis

Fall Season: Bowling, Flag Football, Gymnastics, Robotics, Volleyball

Inclusive Health Initiatives

Caring for the whole health of athletes is one of Special Olympics Washington's top priorities. People with intellectual disabilities face significant challenges in accessing quality health care and obtaining opportunities that promote fitness and wellness, resulting in pronounced health disparities and reduced life expectancy. Special Olympics Washington works with physicians and healthcare professionals trained in treating individuals with intellectual disabilities to provide vital health screenings for dental, vision, hearing, podiatry and overall wellness at no cost to athletes or their families.

Athlete Leadership

Athletes are provided the opportunity to expand personal growth — from coaching and officiating, to public speaking and volunteering. Athletes also have the opportunity to provide vital feedback to Special Olympics Washington through Athlete Input Councils.

Youth Activation & Unified Champion Schools

Special Olympics youth initiatives promote social inclusion through schools-based sports, leadership and whole-school engagement opportunities. Powered by an engaged youth community, students with and without intellectual disabilities work together to train and compete, and create communities of acceptance. More than 75,000 Washington students – with and without intellectual disabilities – have taken the pledge to "Choose to Include."

Volunteers

More than 10,000 volunteers support Special Olympics Washington activities. Volunteers serve as coaches, sports officials, committee members and on-site volunteers at competitions and fundraising events. Coaches and officials are trained and certified at clinics offered by Special Olympics Washington.

Funding

Special Olympics Washington is a registered 501(c) (3) non-profit organization supported entirely by individual, corporate and foundation contributions. Athletes participate at no cost to themselves or their families.