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


February 19, 2015 | North America: North Carolina

Why do people call me the R-word and put it in their hearts and minds too?!!

By Bryan The Game Rogers #8 Special Olympics Volleyball Legend

Bryan "Intimidator Jr. Rogers with Miss Sprint Cup at Martinsville Speedway in 10-26-2014

I was Born on 9-20-1979 and I was about to die that day but god send his angels to give me a second chance to live and love everybody and most of all loving him too ALWAYS!View Story I was Born on 9-20-1979 and I was about to die that day but god send his angels to give me a second chance to live and love everybody and most of all loving him too ALWAYS! But the doctors classed me as a mentally slow learner, like they use the word: RETARDED! BUT(CRYING JUST A LITTLE) But it hard in my life and everybody feels the same way but some making and treating me funny cause that r-word is too much and makes me feeling like I wanted to die and go home with my lord jesus christ my savior and lord and most of all my beloved father in my whole life always Cause Now I'm a born again Christian since 2005 and forever cause I love my lord jesus christ Always! But I'm a Racing Fan of #88 Dale Jr. and #4 Kevin Harvick both of them and many more drivers of all cause I go to martinsville speedway in Martinsville Virginia since 2004,2008,2009,2012,2x: 2013, 2x: 2014 and both 2015 too Always But I was in high school since 1996-2000 and got a high school diploma and I was in SONC in 94, 96-99 end 00

About Bryan The Game Rogers #8 Special Olympics Volleyball Legend:I did Special Olympics Volleyball since 1994,1996,1997,1998,(1999?) and graduated with a High school diploma like all my friends do always! And I'm a #88 Dale Jr. Fan & #4 Kevin Harvick Fan too always
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February 19, 2015 | North America: North Carolina

Ridin' With Doctah Steve

By Tim Prescott

Doctah Steve Prescott leading his ride!

My son is an athlete. He also has autism. He also LOVES motorcycles. Each year he sponsors a ride that supports local athletes.View Story My son is an athlete. He also has autism. He also LOVES motorcycles. Each year he sponsors a ride that supports local athletes and at which every participant raises their right hand and takes the pledge. He has a Facebook page dedicated to this cause: https://www.facebook.com/doctahsteve He has been recognized publicly by our local radio station, the state school system, and is held up as an example of the barriers that can be broken down if you just have some determination! We couldn't be more proud of the young man he has become and look forward to him getting this important message out for years to come!

About Tim Prescott:I am Steven's father. His mother and I help him in any way we can.
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February 19, 2015 | North America: North Carolina

Simple Joy

By Haily King

My sister Terra (left) and I (right).

My sister was born with apraxia of speech along with severe intellectual disabilities. She perseveres through all of the not-so-pleasant parts of her disability, like struggling through school and revels in all of the "perks" like being able to participate in Special Olympics.View Story My sister was born with apraxia of speech along with severe intellectual disabilities. She perseveres through all of the not-so-pleasant parts of her disability, like struggling through school and revels in all of the "perks" like being able to participate in Special Olympics. Through her I realized my purpose in this world- helping those with disabilities. I discovered that the simplest of things, like just dancing with someone with special needs, makes them incredibly happy and joyous. And seeing their happy smiles is so rewarding and makes me extremely happy too.

About Haily King:Growing up with my sister Terra has really inspired me to become what I'm on my way to becoming. I'm only 16 and I'm already coaching Special Olympics softball. It's truly rewarding and I love it. (:
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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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