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Become an Athlete

Athletes are the heart of Special Olympics. Our athletes are children and adults with intellectual disabilities from all across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania —16,000 and counting! They find success, joy and friendship as part of our community, as well as receive opportunities to improve their health, fitness and develop leadership skills.

Special Olympics Pennsylvania organizes and offers year-round athletic training and competitions in 21 sports each year for athletes of all ages at no cost to our participants.

My greatest Special Olympics experience was when I received my very first gold medal for the 100 meter dash. I felt like I could take on the world while standing on the podium waiting to receive my medal.

Raymond Anderson

Special Olympics Pennsylvania Athlete


STEP 1: Confirm Your Eligibility

When you choose to take your place among Special Olympics Pennsylvania athletes, you’re joining a group of strong, ambitious competitors. Special Olympics athletes are eight years or older and have an intellectual disability, a cognitive delay, or a developmental disability.

Children with intellectual disabilities ages 2 through 7 can take part in our Young Athletes program, either at home or through a nearby Special Olympics program. Whereas, people without intellectual disabilities can take part in our Unified Programs, teams that mix people with and without intellectual disabilities. There is no maximum age for participation in Special Olympics.

STEP 2: Register Online To Participate

To register or update your existing contact information as a Special Olympics athlete for the Greater Lehigh Valley Pocono Region (GLVPR), please click on the REGISTER NOW button below. Clicking on the link will direct you to an Athlete Interest Form.  Once this form is completed, a member of our GLVPR staff will contact you to walk you through the online registration process and required medical forms.

STEP 3: Join Our Community!

Once your signed Medical Form has been uploaded to the Special Olympics Online Portal, our GLVPR staff will assist in the process of connecting you with a training program nearest to you.  Welcome to Special Olympics!

If you have questions, please contact your Regional Administrative Manager.