Track and Field
Athletics events offer a wide range, from the 100 meters and hurdle events to the marathon, from the high jump to the long jump, shot put, relays and wheelchair events.
In addition, Special Olympics offers events for lower ability level athletes to train and compete in basic athletics skills. The development of these key skills is necessary prior to advancing to longer competitive events.
Special Olympics athletes can also participate in Unified Sports® Athletics relay events. Special Olympics Unified Sports is a program that combines Special Olympics athletes and athletes without intellectual disabilities (partners) on sports teams for training and competition. In Unified Sports Athletics, a relay team would consist of two Special Olympics athletes and two partners.
As in all Special Olympics sports, athletes are grouped in competition divisions according to events, ability level, age and gender.
Athletics was an event at the first Special Olympics International Games held in Chicago, Illinois, USA in 1968.
At the 1995 World Summer Games, the marathon was contested for the first time, producing a winning time of 2 hours, 59 minutes and 18 seconds.
At the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Dublin, Ireland, 1,111 athletes from 148 Programs competed in the sport of athletics; all seven Special Olympics regions were represented.
Today Special Olympics Athletics is the most popular Special Olympics sport, with 889,538 athletes (as of the 2005 Special Olympics Athlete Participation Report) participating.
1,500; 3,000; 5,000 and 10,000 Meter
Half Marathon, Marathon
Shot Put -
Women 2.72 kg/6 lbs (8-11 yrs - 1.81 kg/4 lbs)
Men 4 kg/8.8 lbs (8-11 yrs - 2.72 kg/ 6lbs)
Pentathlon (Five events: 100 Meters, Long Jump, Shot Put, High Jump, 400 Meters)
100, 200 and 400 Meter Wheelchair Race
Wheelchair Shot Put-
Women: 1.81 kg/4 lbs
Men: 1.81 kg/4 lbs
The following events provide meaningful competition for athletes with lower ability levels:
Dash: 25 and 50 Meter
Walk: 25, 50 and 100 Meter
10, 25 and 50 Meter Assisted Softball Throw
Ball Throw for Distance (Tennis ball)
Standing Long Jump
10 and 25 Meter Wheelchair Race
30 Meter Wheelchair Slalom
30 and 50 Meter Motorized Wheelchair Slalom
25 Meter Motorized Wheelchair Obstacle Race
4 x 25 Meter Wheelchair Shuttle Relay
International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)