Special Olympics offers many athletics events, including the hurdle events, marathon, high jump, long jump, shot put, relays and wheelchair events. In addition, Special Olympics offers events for lower ability level athletes to train and compete in basic athletics skills. The development of these key skills is necessary prior to advancing to longer competitive events.
In addition to traditional events, athletes can participate in Unified Sports® relay events. Unified Sports® is a program that assigns Special Olympics athletes and athletes without intellectual disabilities (partners) to the same teams for training and competition. On a Unified relay team, a team consists of two Special Olympics athletes and two partners.
As in all Special Olympics sports, athletes are grouped in competition divisions according to events, ability level, age and gender.
- 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1,500 Meter
- 4 x 100 Traditional and Unified Relays
- 400, 800 and 1,500 Meter Walks
- High Jump
- Running Long Jump
- Shot Put
- Pentathlon (100 Meters, Long Jump, Shot Put, High Jump, 400 Meters)
- 10 and 25 Meter Wheelchair
- 30 Meter Wheelchair Slalom
- 30 and 50 Meter Motorized Slalom
- 25 Meter Motorized Wheelchair Obstacle
- 100 Meter Wheelchair
The following events provide meaningful competition for athletes with lower ability levels:
- 50 Meter
- 10 Meter Assisted and 100 Meter Walk
- Softball and Tennis Ball Throw
- Standing Long Jump
Handbook & Rules
- Athletics was an event at the first Special Olympics International Games held in Chicago, Illinois in 1968.
- Athletics is the most popular Special Olympics Minnesota sport, with 131 delegations participating in 2004.