Compete

Special Olympics athletes are the true leaders of our movement.

Special Olympics Missouri offers 16 sports for individuals to practice and compete in, each of which are grouped in competition divisions according to ability level, age, and gender.

The physical, emotional and social benefits of participation in Special Olympics are experienced both on the playing field and at home.

  • Physical exercise positively impacts health, mood, and anxiety.
  • Emphasis on sports training helps athletes maintain a healthy weight.
  • Athletes participate in activities that enhance their self-esteem and help them see that they can achieve goals they set for themselves.
  • Athletes have many opportunities to make new friends and socialize in an environment that is accepting and encouraging.
  • Travel opportunities allow athletes to gain experiences and skills that will positively impact all areas of their lives.
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Sports Offered Statewide

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Athletics

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Basketball

Bocce2

Bocce

Bowling

Bowling

Flag Football

Flag Football

Golf

Golf

Powerlifting

Powerlifting

Softball

Softball

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Swimming

Tennis

Tennis

Volleyball

Volleyball

Other Sports Offered

While some areas have athletes who train and compete in these sports, that doesn't mean an official SOMO competition is held. Some athletes train and compete as individuals on their own, while others may travel to neighboring states for competition. The areas that "offer" these sports can put you in contact with local teams that train in them. Click their links below to contact your area office. If you want to start one of these sports in your area, contact your area staff.

If you'd like to start a new sport that isn't listed, let us know.

An athlete dressed in black skis down a hill past a blue marker

Alpine Skiing

Areas Offered:
North, St. Louis Metro

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Equestrian

Areas Offered:
Central Area, St. Louis Metro Area

Floor Hockey

Floor Hockey

Areas Offered:
Kansas City Metro Area

Showshoeing

Snowshoeing

Areas Offered:
Kansas City Metro

Francis Howell's Zack Nevels goes for the ball during a soccer game for the Special Olympics at Missouri State University

Amber Arnold/News-Leader

Soccer

Areas Offered:
SW Area, STL Metro, KC Metro

What Other Opportunities Do Athletes Have?

Special Olympics athletes have the opportunity to be involved in several other programs

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Health & Wellness

The Special Olympics Health & Wellness program offers a wide variety of services to athletes with intellectual disabilities and their families. Whether it's through exercise and nutrition classes with Fit 5, cooking classes, free health screenings through Healthy Athletes®, and much more, Special Olympics has made it a point to show that the overall health of people with intellectual disabilities is a part of our mission.

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Athlete Leadership

This program is designed to train people with intellectual disabilities on leadership, life skills, and independence. Classes include public speaking, governance, internet/email, photography, videography, personal finances, job skills, teamwork/problem solving, health and much more. For many, this is the first time that they are given real choice and an opportunity to become leaders on their teams and in their communities.

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Coaching

Athletes who show leadership abilities will have the opportunity to become a coach in lieu of competing in that sport. Just like our volunteer coaches, athletes must first be trained and prove that they can handle the responsibilities of coaching, starting out as an assistant coach and moving up the coaching ladder. To become a coach at any level, you will need to go through the Athlete Leadership Programs University.