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Athletes are at the heart of Special Olympics. Our athletes are people with intellectual disabilities who are finding success, joy, and friendship as part of our community. Through sport, our athletes see themselves for their abilities, not their disabilities.



Fill out our online athlete interest form, which will help us match you with an appropriate program in your area. Following submission, you will receive an email from Special Olympics Vermont with information about opportunities near you. 

Fill out the Athlete Registration Packet. Packets can be submitted via:

  • Snail mail: 16 Gregory Dr. Suite 2 South Burlington, VT 05403

  • Email:

  • Fax: (802) 863-3911


To be eligible to participate in Special Olympics, you must be at least 8 years old and identified by an agency or professional as having one of the following conditions: intellectual disabilities, cognitive delays as measured by formal assessment, or significant learning or vocational problems due to cognitive delay that require or have required specially designed instruction. The Special Olympics Young Athletes™ program was created for children with intellectual disabilities ages 2 through 7.


Special Olympics Vermont has adopted the Unified approach to sports which joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. This promotes social inclusion, respect, and friendship through shared sports training and competition experiences. Partners, the term for teammates without ID, can compete with Special Olympics in a variety of team sports. (link to Unified Partner page)


To train and compete with Special Olympics, athletes and partners must:

  • Be at least 8 years of age. Learn more about Special Olympics Young Athletes for athletes and partners younger than eight years or age (link to Young Athletes Page)

  • Complete the Athlete Registration Packet (including Athlete Medical Form and Waiver) every three years

  • Believe in our inclusive community!

Athlete Leadership

Special Olympics Athlete Leadership allow athletes to explore opportunities for greater participation in our movement beyond sports training and competition: as coaches, officials, team captains, spokespeople and Board and committee members. These types of leadership roles give athletes a voice in shaping the Special Olympics movement, and a chance to spread the word about the remarkable transformations that Special Olympics can bring about in individuals, families, and communities.


For more information about becoming an athlete leader, please contact Rachel Hamm Vaughan.

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



What sport will you compete in next?

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