The mission of Special Olympics Michigan is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
Athletes develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy while participating in the sharing of gifts, skills and friendship among their families, Special Olympics athletes and the community. The athletes achieve their dreams with the support of caring volunteers, coaches, family members and staff. Donations from Michigan citizens and businesses provide funding for the program.
SOMI Quick Facts
• 27,745 athletes (children and adults with intellectual disabilities as well as Unified Partners and students) participate in Special Olympics Michigan with programs provided at no cost to athletes or their families
• 24 sports are offered
• 6 state-level competitions, 4 district basketball tournaments and more than 700 local and regional competitions statewide
A Special Olympics Michigan athlete flexes during a powerlifting event at the State Summer Games.
At competitions athletes are placed into divisions based on age, gender, and ability. Competitions take place at local, regional, state, national, and world levels.
For a small investment in sports equipment and volunteers' time, Special Olympics has the potential to become a vehicle for bringing people together, changing attitudes, and engaging a portion of the community that is otherwise forgotten.
In the United States, 52% of Special Olympics athletes are employed; approximately half of these athletes are "competitively employed" - employed alongside people without intellectual disabilities.