North Carolina

Special Olympics is a global organization that serves more than 4 million athletes with intellectual disabilities working with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches each year. Since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968, the number of people with and without intellectual disabilities who are involved with the organization has been growing, but the unmet need to reach more people with intellectual disabilities is staggering.

The Power of Sport. For every Special Olympics athlete, there are many more waiting for their chance.  Help us reach one more person who wants to participate. Download Program Fact Sheet

It’s at the local level--right here--where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.

Founded in 1971, Special Olympics North Carolina provides services and opportunities to more than 38,000 athletes, supported by nearly 5,000 volunteer coaches, and we host nearly 600 competitions annually.

Through sports, health, education and community programming, Special Olympics is tackling inactivity, intolerance, isolation and injustice that people with intellectual disabilities throughout the world face. In addition to sports, our programmatic offerings currently include: Athlete Leadership Programs, Healthy Athletes, Healthy Communities, Young Athletes Program, Project UNIFY, Special Olympics Unified Sports, and NC Law Enforcement Torch Run.

Sports Offered

  •  Alpine Skiing
  • Aquatics
  • Athletics
  • Basketball
  • Bocce
  • Bowling
  • Cheerleading
  • Cycling
  • Equestrian
  • Figure Skating
  • Football (Soccer)
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Motor Activity Training Program
  • Powerlifting
  • Roller Skating
  • Snowboarding
  • Softball
  • Speed Skating
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball

News and Stories


August 17, 2015 | North America: North Carolina

My Special Olympics Life

By Bradley Rice

Hey, everybody, this is Brad Rice from Greensboro Guilford County in North Carolina. I got started in Special Olympics when I was 8 years old.View Story Hey, everybody, this is Brad Rice from Greensboro Guilford County in North Carolina. I got started in Special Olympics when I was 8 years old. The sports are really good for me because I like to get in shape and make myself healthier, but I love everybody, including the coaches and volunteers who make every athlete train hard to be the best. I did try my best but I never give up and I keep trying.

About Bradley Rice:I like to watch movies on my VCR and typing on my laptop but I work out at planet fitness and I am really working hard on my weight. I want to tell everybody I am becoming the local author working on my book it is called "Down syndrome A Bradley Rice story written by me and I am working at Harris teeter as a customer service bagger
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August 17, 2015 | North America: North Carolina

My 8th month anniversary August 2015

By Bradley Rice

I want to tell everybody about the grocery store where I work. This month is my anniversary as a customer service bagger at Harris-Teeter, and I have been recognized by my customer service manager.View Story I want to tell everybody about the grocery store where I work. This month is my anniversary as a customer service bagger at Harris-Teeter, and I have been recognized by my customer service manager. It is very exciting news that I want tell everyone. This year I won silver and bronze medals also a ribbon in state games, and I feel really proud of myself because I believe in myself as an athlete.

About Bradley Rice:I work at Harris Teeter as a bagger and I am also becoming a local writer thinking of myself author writing a book about myself and also getting ready for soccer to help my soccer team to win like we did before.
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June 25, 2015 | North America: North Carolina

My reserve win

By Nathan Klein

In a AQHA show of last year I won a chaps bag that said I was the reserve champion. On January of this year the best thing happened to me. At an award ceremony I got a reserve champion gold buckle. It had my name, my horse's name and two rubies.View Story In a AQHA show of last year I won a chaps bag that said I was the reserve champion. On January of this year the best thing happened to me. At an award ceremony I got a reserve champion gold buckle. It had my name, my horse's name and two rubies.

About Nathan Klein :I am Nathan, I am a youth in horse showing and I've been to special olympics 3 times and I've won 4 gold meadls, 7 silvers and 0 bronze out of 12 classes
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2014 USA Games

The 2014 Special Olympics USA Games ran June 14-21. See results and stories.

Sep 21 - 23 2012 SONA Softball Invitational Tournament Oklahoma City, OK
Sep 11 - 17 2012 World Aquatics Invitational 2012 San Juan, Puerto Rico
Jun 25 - Jul 4 2011 2011 Summer Games Athens, Greece

Areas Served

Alamance County, Alexander County, Alleghany County, Anson County, Ashe County, Avery County, Beaufort County, Bertie County, Bladen County, Brunswick County, Buncombe County, Burke County, Cabarrus County, Caldwell County, Camden County, Carteret County, Caswell County, Catawba County, Chatham County, Cherokee County, Chowan County, Clay County, Cleveland County, Columbus County, Craven County, Cumberland County, Currituck County, Dare County, Davidson County, Davie County, Duplin County, Durham County, Edgecombe County, Forsyth County, Franklin County, Gaston County, Gates County, Graham County, Granville County, Greene County, Guilford County, Halifax County, Harnett County, Haywood County, Henderson County, Hertford County, Hoke County, Hyde County, Iredell County, Jackson County, Johnston County, Jones County, Lee County, Lenoir County, Lincoln County, Macon County, Madison County, Martin County, McDowell County, Mecklenburg County, Mitchell County, Montgomery County, Moore County, Nash County, New Hanover County, Northampton County, Onslow County, Orange County, Pamlico County, Pasquotank County, Pender County, Perquimans County, Person County, Pitt County, Polk County, Randolph County, Richmond County, Robeson County, Rockingham County, Rowan County, Rutherford County, Sampson County, Scotland County, Stanly County, Stokes County, Surry County, Swain County, Transylvania County, Tyrrell County, Union County, Vance County, Wake County, Warren County, Washington County, Watauga County, Wayne County, Wilkes County, Wilson County, Yadkin County, Yancey County

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