We are REAL Sports


What qualifies someone as a Special Olympics athlete? Any child or adult with a diagnosed intellectual disability is eligible. Children can start as early as age 2 in our Young Athletes® program.

At age 8, children are able to participate in team or individual sports seasons and qualify to participate in local and state competitions. We offer 27 different sports, year-round events and more than 500 competition opportunities in the state. Athletes must train a miminum of 8 weeks to qualify for a competition.

girl volleyball




Unified Sports Program® combines approximately equal numbers of Special Olympics athletes with athletes without intellectual disabilities (called Unified Partners) on sports teams for training and competition.  This program is successful on and off of the field. It brings inclusion to Special Olympics athletes and expanded friendships far beyond sports.  SO-SC offers Unified Sports® competition in badminton, basketball, bocce, bowling, cheerleading, disc golf, flag football, golf, gymnastics (artistic & rhythmic) kayaking, sailing, soccer, swimming, softball, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.

State Competitions



National and International CompetitionsTara Freeman

Special Olympics USA Games are held every four years. The 2022 Special Olympics USA Games will be held in Orlando, Florida.

Special Olympics World Winter and Summer Games are held every two years on a rotating basis. The 2021 World Winter Games will be held in Sweden and the 2023 World Summer Games will be held in Berlin, Germany.

© 2015 South Carolina Special Olympics, 109 Oak Park Drive, Irmo, SC 29063