Special Olympics Chicago is one of 17 areas of Special Olympics Illinois offering training and competition in 22 sports training and events.
Athletes learn fundamentals, rules and strategies from their coaches during a training period prior to competition. Competitions are held at the area, regional and state levels.
AquaticsSwimming is the most popular sporting event worldwide. Athletes eight years of age and older are placed in levels and compete in basic aquatic skills including freestyle, backstroke, butterfly, medleys and relay races. Chicago Park District continues to certify coaches and provides instruction and facilities in an effort to establish new aquatics goals for special athletes.
ArtsThis program encourages the development of the arts for our athletes. Athlete artwork includes Special Olympics memory depictions, self-portraits or outdoor-themed art. Pieces are framed and exhibited throughout the year to create public awareness, and artwork is selected to be included in the Special Children’s Charities calendar and other materials.
BasketballThis program offers both tournament play and skills competition for athletes with lower abilities who do not have the readiness for team play. Skills include en meter dribble, target pass and spot shot.
BocceAthletes learn the fundamentals of the game and have the opportunity to develop hand-eye coordination, balance, concentration and decision-making skills.
BowlingBowling is an excellent recreational activity for all ages and ability levels. The athlete develops appropriate social behavior and functional knowledge of rules to enable them to successfully participate in a regulation game.
GolfGolf is recognized as a sport that promotes socialization and enhances self-esteem. Motor skills and hand-eye coordination are improved and better physical fitness is a result. The joy and gratification of achieving new skills and reaching a new performance level add to the athlete’s confidence.
Motor ActivitiesThe Motor Activities Program (MATP) is part of Special Olympics Chicago’s commitment to offer sports training to all individuals regardless of ability level. MATP provides comprehensive motor activity and recreation training for people with severe handicaps with an emphasis on training and participation rather than competition. Training days give participants a chance to demonstrate his or her “personal best” in an activity and to be recognized for this accomplishment.
PowerliftingThis program concentrates on body weight control, nutrition and mental discipline. To increase strength for body lifts, every muscle must be at its strongest. Powerlifing events include bench press, dead lift and combination.
SoccerSoccer is a game of continuous action. It provides a fine balance between individual skills and teamwork. American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) officiates Special Olympics soccer tournaments, provides regulations nets and measures and marks the field.
TennisTennis provides an athlete with a sport that can be played competitively or recreationally. This program offers a skills component as well as singles, doubles and unified play.
VolleyballVolleyball attracts a wide range of athletes of all ages and ability levels. It provides an opportunity to gain physical exercise, practice teamwork, learn sport skills and knowledge of rules. Skills training and adaptive equipment are used in modified competition for lower functioning athletes.
Winter SportsSpecial Olympics winter sports include cross-country and alpine skiing, speed and figure skating and snowshoeing.