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 08, 2014 | North America: North Carolina

Andrew Fiumara of Greensboro is the August Athlete of the Month

By Madeline Weathers

Spreading love for the game of bowling to other athletes is keeping Special Olympics Guilford/Greensboro athlete Andrew Fiumara very busy! The 33 year-old has been involved with Special Olympics for over 25 years as both an athlete and a volunteer! Andrew currently competes in bowling, and is a SpecView Story Spreading love for the game of bowling to other athletes is keeping Special Olympics Guilford/Greensboro athlete Andrew Fiumara very busy! The 33 year-old has been involved with Special Olympics for over 25 years as both an athlete and a volunteer! Andrew currently competes in bowling, and is a Special Olympics aquatics coach. This is one athlete who has turned his attention to helping others who share the same passion for bowling. Andrew volunteers his time with the Masters Bowling Program, where he assists wheel chair bowlers who use a ramp to play. Andrew can be found alongside his parents on Wednesday evenings volunteering with the program. “I work with the ramps, make sure they’re in place. I've been volunteering for five years and really enjoy it,” said Fiumara.

About Madeline Weathers:I am the Special Olympics North Carolina communications intern.
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July 14, 2014 | North America: North Carolina

Longtime Volunteer Makes Anticipated Return to Special Olympics

By Madeline Weathers

To say this volunteer is passionate about Special Olympics would be an understatement. Public Relations Officer Walter J. Scott of the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office is a longtime volunteer who has dedicated his time to Special Olympics for over 10 years.View Story To say this volunteer is passionate about Special Olympics would be an understatement. Public Relations Officer, Walter J. Scott of the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office is a longtime volunteer who has dedicated his time to Special Olympics for over 10 years. It was no surprise to see him beaming with pride as he took part in the awards ceremonies of the 2014 Special Olympics NC Summer Games.

About Madeline Weathers:I am the Special Olympics North Carolina communications intern.
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July 10, 2014 | North America: North Carolina

Chris Christenbury of Mecklenburg County- 2014 July Athlete of the Month

By Madeline Weathers

Chris Christenbury is fresh off the most amazing experience of his 33 year Special Olympics career, the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games in New Jersey!View Story Chris Christenbury is fresh off the most amazing experience of his 33 year Special Olympics career, the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games in New Jersey! Over the past year, the 43 year-old from Mecklenburg County has been rapidly improving and practicing at a higher level of tennis to prepare for his performance in the 2014 USA Games. Chris was playing short court tennis which is a transition game between individual skills competition and full court tennis. All play takes place within the double lines. Chris was challenged with stepping up his game for the national stage and playing full court tennis in New Jersey. “We worked with them (Chris and his doubles partner Kristin Hunter) on things such as movement, it takes more movement and coverage, Chris was very open to suggestions and ideas, not uptight about failing it or mastering it, willing it give it a shot,” said Chris’ longtime coach Bob Bowler.

About Madeline Weathers:I am the Special Olympics North Carolina communications intern.
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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

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

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


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


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ESPNGlobal Presenting Sponsor of Unified Sports®.Learn More »


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EssilorOfficial global supplier of ophthalmic lenses.Learn More »


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Hear the WorldSupplies hearing aids to our athletes.Learn More »


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AIPSGlobal Impact Partner for Special Olympics.Learn More »


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Lions ClubSupports access to quality eye care.Learn More »


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MattelSupports Special Olympics Youth Programs.Learn More »


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


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


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


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UNICEFProvides greater inclusion of children with disabilities.Learn More »


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