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Become an Athlete

Special Olympics helps people of all ages with intellectual disabilities improve their fitness, learn sports skills, and experience the joy of competition and winning through regular training and year-round events.

Our Athletes

With 24 sports to choose from, athletes can train for many different skills and sports. Enrolling in Special Olympics means joining a family of more than 4.2 million Special Olympics athletes worldwide. Athletes will enjoy the best physical training and competition available to such special individuals.

Special Olympics provides opportunities to meet new people, make friends, travel, and enjoy various social events with other athletes and volunteers. It enables families to train together, have common goals, and become an integral part of the sports world in Special Olympics. Through Special Olympics Michigan, athletes gain self-esteem, discipline, and courage, which carry over to all other aspects of their lives, including school, home, and the workplace.

If you or someone you know would like to become a Special Olympics Michigan athlete, please get in touch with us by filling out the athlete interest form on this page.


To be eligible to participate in Special Olympics, athletes must have an intellectual disability, a cognitive delay, or a developmental disability; that is, functional limitations in both general learning and adaptive skills. Our eligibility statement can be found at the bottom of this page. Participation in Special Olympics can begin at age 8, and there is no maximum age limit.

Children ages 2-7 can take part in the Young Athletes™ program.

People without intellectual disabilities can take part in Unified Sports (teams that include people with and without intellectual disabilities).

Personal Information
Athlete Name
Parent/Guardian Name (if applicable)
I'm Interested in:
For athletes ages 8+
For athletes ages 2-7
For athletes with severe or profound disabilities
For traditional Special Olympics Michigan athletes also wishing to train and compete alongside athletes without intellectual disabilities in Unified Sports
For athletes without intellectual disabilities wishing to train and compete alongside traditional Special Olympics Michigan athletes in Unified Sports