The mission of Special Olympics Colorado is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendships with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
Inclusion is Key – A Message On Racial Injustice
Special Olympics stands in unwavering support of black lives in the U.S. and around the world, and we vehemently reject oppression, exclusion, and injustice.
Special Olympics was created in the US in 1968, during a similarly intense national conversation around discrimination. For more than 50 years, we have been fighting for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities by using sports as a catalyst for systematic change.
As the leaders of the Inclusion Revolution, we firmly oppose acts of discrimination and exclusion of all types. People with intellectual disabilities intersect across ethnicities, age, religion, gender identity, etc.
We support justice for people who experience oppression, and we support members of the law enforcement who share our promise to defend the dignity and inclusion of all people. This pivotal moment is our opportunity to renew our pledge to dignity and inclusion with a commitment to erasing racism. We will never ignore the commanding need to replace discrimination and exclusion with justice and joy.
As an organization we absolutely are both against racism and discrimination of any type and also supportive of our law enforcement partners who have been there for our athletes and organization for decades, working tirelessly on their behalf.
Our Core Values
We strive to create a culture of fun, excitement and hope, and to promote joy in all that we do.
Together, we work toward shared goals and achieving a common mission by fostering teamwork, trust and understanding.
We value and promote equity, acceptance and respect amongst people of all backgrounds, talents and abilities, and we work to inspire others to do the same.
We encourage an environment committed to sharing ideas and information openly, honestly and respectfully.
We continually seek to inspire and achieve the highest standards of excellence in all that we do.
Who Do We Serve in Colorado?
Special Olympics Colorado provides more than 100 opportunities for athletes to train and compete each year in 21 sports for individuals ages 2 and up. Participation with other athletes, Unified partners (typically developing peers), coaches, sponsors and volunteers builds confidence and creates opportunities to participate as productive and respected members of society by increasing public awareness of the athletes’ capabilities.
- 15,000+ Athletes
- 400+ Schools
- 9,000+ Volunteers
- 1,000+ Coaches
- 1,200+ Law Enforcement
Who Do We Reach in Colorado?
- 400,000+ P-16 Students
- 25,000 Families and Friends of Athletes
Who are SOCO Athletes?
- 61% identify as Caucasian, 31% identify as Latina/o, and 5% identify as African American, and 3% as Asian.
- They live in urban centers and rural corners of the state
- Athletes range in age from 2 to 80 years old
- On average, an athlete visits 50 different physicians until she or he can find one that can meet their needs
- 47% of athletes are at or below the poverty line
Special Olympics was founded in 1969 on the belief that people with intellectual disabilities can, with proper instruction and encouragement, learn, enjoy and benefit from participation in individual and team sports. Through the power of sports, people with intellectual disabilities discover new strengths and abilities, skills and success. Our athletes find joy, confidence, and fulfillment — on the playing field and in life. They also inspire people in their communities and elsewhere to open their hearts to a wider world of human talents and potential.
Special Olympics is the leading voice in raising awareness about the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities.
Through sports, we showcase the skills and dignity of our athletes. We also bring together communities to see and take part in the transformative power of sports. We know the odds our athletes must overcome and the barriers they face every single day. We see this at training events and competitions as our athletes push to beat their personal bests — and exceed them.
We believe in a world where there are millions of different abilities but not disabilities.
Special Olympics is also the world’s largest public health organization for people with intellectual disabilities. Many of our athletes come to us with neglected health problems. Special Olympics Colorado offers a wide range of free health exams and care.
Our goal is to bring better fitness, nutrition, and healthier lifestyles to everyone involved in Special Olympics — from athletes and their families to coaches and volunteers.