Track and Field offers a wide range of competitions, from the 50 meter and 100 meter events to 1500 meter run, 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 Track and Field, 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.

Track & Field Events:

  • Running Events
    • 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1500 Meter events
    • 4 x 100 Relay, 4 x 400 Relay events
  • Field Events
    • Running Long Jump, Standing Long Jump
    • Mini-Javelin Throw, Softball Throw
    • Shot Put - Women and Men
  • Wheelchair Events
    • 10, 25, 50, 100 and 200 Meter Wheelchair Events

Fun Facts

  • 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 Track and Field is the most popular Special Olympics sport, with 889,538 athletes (as of the 2005 Special Olympics Athlete Participation Report) participating.