Become an Athlete

Special Olympics athletes are athletes with intellectual disabilities or other closely related disabilities. Programs are provided for all ages and ability levels.

Athletes are the heart of Special Olympics Alaska. Our athletes are children and adults with intellectual disabilities from all across the state. They are finding success, joy and friendship as part of our community. Through sports, our athletes are realizing their abilities, not disabilities. Their world is opened with acceptance and understanding. They become confident and empowered by their accomplishments.

We offer 14 Olympic-style sports in four sport seasons (Winter – December through March, Summer – March through June, Fall – June through September, Bowling – August through November)  Each season includes opportunities for competition on a local and state level.  In addition, athletes have the opportunity to qualify and  advance to National and World Games.

To be eligible as a Special Olympics Alaska athlete:

  • Officially register with Special Olympics Alaska (local community program).
  • Agree to Abide by the rules. To be eligible for participation in Special Olympics, a competitor must agree to observe and abide by the Official Special Olympics Rules.
  • No Discrimination. No person shall — on the grounds of gender, race, religion, color or national origin — be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity of Special Olympics.
  • Age Requirements. Persons are eligible for Special Olympics, provided that they are 8 years-of-age or older. An accredited program may allow children that are 6 or 7 years old to train; however, they may not compete. There is no maximum age limit.
  • Identify having intellectual disabilities. A person is considered to have intellectual disabilities if:
  • An agency or professional has identified the person as having an intellectual disability; or
  • The person has a cognitive delay as determined by standard measures, such IQ testing or other measures that are generally accepted within the professional community; or The person has a closely related development disability, i.e. functional limitations in both general learning and adaptive skills. Persons with functional limitations based solely on physical, behavioral, emotional, sensory or specific disabilities are not eligible.

Getting Started

The athlete and/or guardian parent must contact the local community program to  set up an intake meeting to discuss the overall program, the eligibility requirements and the athlete’s sport interests.

To officially register with Special Olympics Alaska the Special Olympics Alaska sports physical form must be signed by a licensed medical examiner and is valid for three years.

A release/consent form must also be completed.  (for minors, the release will expire on their 18th birthday, the release form for adults, has no expiration date)

Once the registration forms are submitted to the local program, the athlete is connected with the coach and training can begin.


For more information contact

  • Emily Tymick
  • Director of Sports Development and Competition
  • 3200 Mountain View Dr.
  • Anchorage, AK  99501
  • [email protected]
  • 1-888-499-7625 (toll free in Alaska)
  • 1-907-222-7625 (ext 608)
  • 1-907-222-6200 (fax)