Athletes and families are the heart of Special Olympics Vermont. Our athletes are children and adults with intellectual disabilities from all around the state. In 2010, we had 1,005 athletes participate in at least one sport, with many competing in multiple sports throughout the year. They are finding success, joy and friendship as part of our community. They’re also having lots of fun!
Who Are Our Athletes?
Everybody is different. Special Olympics Vermont is for people who are different because they learn new skills slowly. They may not understand ideas that other people learn easily. They are different in other ways as well. They have an intellectual disability, or ID.
Intellectual disabilities happen in all cultures, races and countries. The goal of Special Olympics Vermont is to reach out to the estimated 15,000 in Vermont with ID.
At any age and in every country, our athletes are learning new skills, making new friends and gaining in fitness and confidence.
Special Olympics trainings and competitions happen 365 days a year in more than 170 countries.
Special Olympics Vermont offers 12 Olympic-type summer and winter sports. So whatever your age or skill level, Special Olympics Vermont has something for you. Many athletes start in one sport, then go on to try others.
Through sports, our athletes are seeing themselves for their abilities, not disabilities. Their world is opened with acceptance and understanding. They become confident and empowered by their accomplishments. They are also making new friends, as part of the most inclusive community on the planet — a global community that is growing every day.
From Athletes to Leaders
Through sports training and competitions, Special Olympics Vermont helps people with ID find joy, acceptance and success. As their lives open up, athletes gain the confidence that comes with achievement. They feel empowered. They are ready to take on new challenges to make use of their new abilities.
They can become mentors for other athletes. They can train to become coaches and officials. They can also move toward a more public role as a speaker or spokesperson. They can speak to audiences and journalists about the positive changes that Special Olympics helped bring about in their lives.
At Special Olympics Vermont, our athletes are empowered to share their many gifts and talents with society. Yet, it’s more than that. Our athletes also become empowered to be leaders in society — and teach us all about acceptance and understanding.