Special Olympics is a global movement that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports. It empowers individuals with intellectual disabilities to become accepted and valued members of their communities, leading to a more respectful and inclusive society for all. Using sports as the catalyst as well as programming around health and education, Special Olympics works to end inactivity, injustice and intolerance.
Special Olympics Wisconsin (SOWI) provides year-round sports opportunities to more than 10,000 athletes, of any age and skill level, across the state. With training and competitions in 18 Olympic-style sports our athletes push hard and play harder. They strive to beat their personal bests, defying the odds again and again. From swimming to snowboarding, from the local ball fields to the shining stage of the World Games, our athletes showcase the talents and triumphs of people with intellectual disabilities.
SOWI by the Numbers
- 10,425 athletes participate in Special Olympics Wisconsin with programs provided at no cost to athletes or their families
- 18 sports offered
- 5 state-level games, 47 regional games and 656 local competitions
- 683 Unified Partners and 20 Unified Competition opportunities
- 165 local programs
- 35 schools involved in SOWI
- 1,312 dedicated coaches and 11,649 devoted volunteers
- 1,327 free health screenings annually
Special Olympics is the leader in research and evaluation to better understand the challenges faced by individuals with intellectual disabilities and the significant impact of Special Olympics on their lives. Our independent research is also a driving force for realizing improved policies, laws and rights for people with intellectual disabilities around the world. Read findings.
“I love being in Special Olympics because I feel like part of a team of friends. Special Olympics makes me feel like a star. When I compete, I feel proud that I’ve done something. All of us athletes feel good if we get a first, second, or third. I feel good that I completed something.”
— Ann, Special Olympics Wisconsin Athlete
Special Olympics Wisconsin, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization supported almost entirely through corporate funding and individual gifts.