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

Through Special Olympics Minnesota (SOMN) programming, more than 8,200 people with intellectual disabilities showcase their skills to their peers, their communities and the world. In braving their attempts, they gain new experiences and become confident and empowered by their accomplishments. As a result, they create lifelong bonds with fellow athletes, volunteers and people in their communities.

SOMN welcomes people of all ages both with and without intellectual disabilities. Whether traditional athlete, Unified Partner or Young Athlete, SOMN creates an accepting and inclusive environment for everyone!

Traditional athletes

To be eligible to participate in Special Olympics, athletes must be at least 8 years old and identified by an agency or professional as having one of the following conditions:

  • intellectual disability;
  • cognitive delay as determined by standardized measures such as intelligence quotient or other accepted measures;
  • or a closely related developmental disability which means functional limitations in both general learning and adaptive skills.

Please review our athlete eligibility information (PDF) for more information.

Those who qualify as a traditional athlete must register by completing and returning an athlete application (PDF). Each sports season has placement deadlines for new athletes.