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


December 01, 2014 | North America: North Carolina

A Lesson in Perseverance: Robert Taylor’s mission to never give up

By Nidhi Singh

Special Olympics North Carolina Athlete Robert Taylor

It was a grueling race for Special Olympics North Carolina cyclist Robert Anthony Taylor. Despite the agonizing pain and screaming exhaustion he felt during the 25k road race, the Charlotte resident kept his eyes on the finish line and pedaled faster.View Story It was a grueling race for Special Olympics North Carolina cyclist Robert Anthony Taylor. Despite the agonizing pain and screaming exhaustion he felt during the 25k road race, the Charlotte resident kept his eyes on the finish line and pedaled faster. Taylor soon began to notice that a fellow competitor in the Special Olympics NC Fall Tournament was ready to hit the brakes from sheer exhaustion. “I don’t want people to give up,” Taylor said. “I decided to ride next to him and tell him to keep going.”

About Nidhi Singh:I am the Communications Intern for Special Olympics North Carolina. Learning about Robert and his journey as an athlete inspired me and I'm glad I had the opportunity to meet and talk to him!
Share
View less ▲

November 26, 2014 | North America: North Carolina

"My Pleasure"

By Megan O'Donnell

Special Olympics NC athlete Keith Hayden lands a job at Chick-fil-A after volunteering at a Cops on Top fundraiser!

“I’d be happy to refill your drink, sir,” Special Olympics NC athlete Keith Hayden often says to customers as he patrols the dining room of the Chick-fil-A Blakeney restaurant in Charlotte each night. The 34 year-old truly takes pleasure in doing his job.View Story “I’d be happy to refill your drink, sir,” Special Olympics NC athlete Keith Hayden often says to customers as he patrols the dining room of the Chick-fil-A Blakeney restaurant in Charlotte each night. The 34 year-old truly takes pleasure in doing his job. For four years, Hayden had been trying to land a coveted position in the restaurant chain known for their customer service. As it happens, a NC Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics fundraiser helped put him in the right place at the right time!

About Megan O'Donnell:Special Olympics NC VP of Communications- Keith let me know of his good fortune at our Fall Tournament and had to share this great story that came from his perseverance and our Torch Run relationship with Chick-fil-A. Yay Keith!
Share
View less ▲

November 13, 2014 | North America: North Carolina

Words Hurt

By ReneBall

When I was younger I was called many things. Many kids in school thought hurting someone was funny and cool. Not me. The words hurt. No matter what was said It was like I was being punched.View Story When I was younger I was called many things. Many kids in school thought hurting someone was funny and cool. Not me. The words hurt. No matter what was said It was like I was being punched. After years of being called everything and crying. Thinking that would help the pain go away. It never did.. Once I got older I just didn't care what people called me. It was just words yeah they hurt. But not as bad as it had when I was a kid. It's just people that had nothing else to do but assume they know everything about me. They just know that I am a person with a disability. I can only tell others that yeah words hurt. They sometimes hurt worse then others but you have to realize. your nothing what they are assuming you are. You are special. You were made different. Because god wanted you that way. I was always told if we were all the same it would be boring. I'm not boring.... I am one of many of gods angels......

About ReneBall:My name is Rene. I am now almost 26. I have a learning disability. and I had been made fun of. I have heard all harsh words there can be. But, I am human. I am one of gods special children.
Share
View less ▲

Do you have a story to Share?

Tell us your story so we can publish it for others to see.



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

Special Olympics North Carolina
2200 Gateway Centre Boulevard, Suite 201
Morrisville, NC 27560
Phone:  +1 (919) 719-7662+1 (919) 719-7662
Toll-free:  +1 (800) 843-6276+1 (800) 843-6276

Website:  www.sonc.net
Email:  Contact us
Volunteer:  Opportunities

Follow Us

Find events near you and learn about volunteer opportunities at one of our 220 worldwide locations. 

FIND A LOCATION NEAR YOU »

Our Supporters

MicrosoftRevolutionizing information systems that power our games.Learn more »


Our Supporters

The Christmas Records TrustFunding Special Olympics work worldwide.Learn More »


Our Supporters

Annenberg FoundationSupports our goals for coaches’ excellence.Learn More »


Our Supporters

Bank of AmericaProud partner of Special Olympics.Learn More »


Our Supporters

Coca-ColaSpecial Olympics Founding Partner.Learn More »


Our Supporters

ESPNGlobal Presenting Sponsor of Unified Sports®.Learn More »


Our Supporters

EssilorOfficial global supplier of ophthalmic lenses.Learn More »


Our Supporters

AIPSGlobal Impact Partner for Special Olympics.Learn More »


Our Supporters

Lions ClubSupports access to quality eye care.Learn More »


Our Supporters

MattelSupports Special Olympics Youth Programs.Learn More »


Our Supporters

MTM RecognitionSupplier of awards and medals for our athletes.Learn More »


Our Supporters

Perfect Sense DigitalSpecial Olympics' leading digital partner.Learn More »


Our Supporters

Procter & GambleCelebrating over 30 years of partnership with Special Olympics.Learn More »


Our Supporters

SafewayRaises funds and awareness for people with disabilities.Learn More »


Our Supporters

SàfiloSupplies optical frames and sunglasses.Learn More »


Our Supporters

UNICEFProvides greater inclusion of children with disabilities.Learn More »


Our Supporters

Y&RPowering our global youth marketing campaign.Learn more »



*

Special Olympics - Become a Fan