Hall of Fame

The SOMO Hall of Fame was created in 1997 by the Board of Directors as a way to recognize longevity and achievement of athletes and volunteers within the organization. A voting committee, appointed by the SOMO Chairperson of the Board, is responsible for reviewing all nominations and voting on no more than two inductees in each category (athlete and volunteer).

To be inducted, finalists must be named on 75 percent of the ballots. A permanent video display, housed in the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in Springfield, features photos and bios of each year’s Special Olympics Missouri Hall of Fame inductees.

CATEGORIES:  Athlete and Non-Athlete


Athlete and Non-Athlete Prerequisites:

  • Participation for at least 15 years with Special Olympics, with at least 10 of those years being with Special Olympics Missouri.
  • Not a present employee of Special Olympics Missouri.
  • Not a current member of the Special Olympics Missouri Board of Directors.
  • Demonstrates behavior and conduct associated within the Special Olympics movement.
  • Demonstrated a significant positive impact within the Special Olympics movement.

Athlete Enhancements: 

  • Participation for more than 15 years;
  • Medal winner at a National Games/World Games;
  • State or Area Athlete of the Year;
  • Participation in more than one sport;
  • Public education involvement as a Global Messenger;
  • Development involvement;
  • Outreach involvement


Nominations will be sought at least six months prior to the award being presented.  They will be sought via the Special Olympics Missouri mailing list (board members, area staff, Tuesday Takeaways, and a newsletter insert) and social media promotion. Previous nominees will not automatically be forwarded to the next award year. Individuals may be nominated in no more than five separate award years.

Click here to nominate for 2024!

  • 2024 Nominations are due by August 1, 2024
  • Questions? Contact Andrew Kauffman

The 2024 Awards Banquet will be held Saturday, Nov. 23, 2023 at the Training for Life Campus.

VOTING COMMITTEE: The Voting Committee will be composed of a maximum of nine members.  The Hall of Fame chair will select members of the Voting Committee after consulting with the Chair of the Board and the President.  This Committee will include: three past inductees of the Special Olympics Missouri Hall of Fame, three current Special Olympics Missouri staff members, current Special Olympics Missouri Board of Directors athlete representative, two members selected by the voting committee chair.

VOTING PROCESS: Each person on the Voting Committee will have the opportunity to hear testimony on each nominee by the person who made the nomination. Upon hearing all testimonies in each category, a secret ballot vote will be cast. Each Voting Committee member shall have zero to two votes per category. Each Voting Committee member may only cast one vote per nominee.

INDUCTEES: No more than two nominees from each category will be chosen in one year.  A nominee must receive six or more votes from Voting Committee to be selected as an inductee into the Hall of Fame.

AWARD: A gold medal will be designed for each inductee and for display.