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Become an Athlete

Athletes are the heart of Special Olympics. Our athletes are children and adults with intellectual disabilities from all across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania —16,000 and counting! They find success, joy and friendship as part of our community, as well as receive opportunities to improve their health, fitness and develop leadership skills.

Special Olympics Pennsylvania organizes and offers year-round athletic training and competitions in 21 sports each year for athletes of all ages at no cost to our participants.

My greatest Special Olympics experience was when I received my very first gold medal for the 100 meter dash. I felt like I could take on the world while standing on the podium waiting to receive my medal.

Raymond Anderson

Special Olympics Pennsylvania Athlete

HOW TO BECOME AN ATHLETE

STEP 1: Confirm Your Eligibility

When you choose to take your place among Special Olympics Pennsylvania athletes, you’re joining a group of strong, ambitious competitors. Special Olympics athletes are eight years or older and have an intellectual disability, a cognitive delay, or a developmental disability.

OTHER PROGRAMS OFFERED

Young Athletes (Athletes ages 2 to 7)

Unified Sports

STEP 2: Athlete Registration/Renewal Registration

To become eligible for Special Olympics Pennsylvania training, competition, and programming, athletes must complete an Athlete Registration and submit a Medical Form completed and signed by a physician or authorized medical personnel.

To expedite the process, please submit the Athlete Registration online

To receive printed forms, please contact CAR@specialolympicspa.org

ATHLETE REGISTRATION

  • A valid email address is required in order to submit this form. 
  • This form should be filled out by the person (or people) who can give the most complete and accurate account of the athlete’s medical history. That might include the athlete themselves, the parent or guardian, or a caregiver.
  • If the athlete cannot sign legal documents, then the person completing the form should be able to legally sign their behalf.

MEDICAL FORM

  • The Medical Form requires a physical examination by a physician or authorized medical personnel (not a nurse or EMT).
  • The form is valid for 3 years from the date of the physician or authorized medical personnel signature.
  • The Special Olympics Pennsylvania Medical Form must be used. School or agency medical forms will NOT be accepted.

STEP 3: Join Our Community!

Once your signed Medical Form has been uploaded to the Special Olympics Online Portal, our Capital Area staff will assist in the process of connecting you with a training program nearest to you.

If you have questions, please contact your Regional Administrative Manager.

Welcome to Special Olympics Pennsylvania!