To be eligible to participate in Special Olympics, athletes must be at least 8 years old and identified by an agency or professional as having one of the following conditions: intellectual disability; a cognitive delay as determined by standardized measures such as intelligence quotient or other generally accepted measures; or a closely related development disability, i.e., functional limitations in both general learning and adaptive skills. There is no cost to participate in Special Olympics.

If you are a person with a intellectual disability (or the parent of a child with an intellectual disability) and would like to enroll yourself (or your child) to develop athleticism, build courage, make friends, experience teamwork and delight in your (their) accomplishments, then please contact Special Olympics Greater Memphis.

Best of all, Special Olympics is FREE to eligible people wishing to participate! The financial and in-kind support of sponsors, donors, and families make it possible for Special Olympics athletes to never be charged a fee to compete!


Global Messenger

Global Messengers are Special Olympics athletes who help spread the message and vision of the movement as well as the benefits they have gained by participating in Special Olympics. As leaders and message-bearers of the movement, Global Messengers communicate the powerful declarations of hope, acceptance, dignity and courage of Special Olympics athletes around the world. Only athletes can effectively relate the impact that the movement has had on their lives and the lives of their families.

To become a Global Messenger in our Athlete Leadership Program you must have a desire to serve in meaningful leadership roles other than or in addition to that of a “competitor”.

If you would like more information about joining this exciting outreach program please contact Special Olympics Greater Memphis.


Unified Sports

Special Olympics Unified Sports is an initiative that combines approximately equal numbers of Special Olympics athletes and athletes without intellectual disabilities (called Partners) on sports teams for training and competition.

Throughout the year, in a variety of sports ranging from basketball and soccer, to golf and bowling, Unified athletes build their bodies, sharpen their skills, challenge themselves through competition and have fun too. Its a physical workout that builds friendship, character, leadership and inspires greatness in all who participate.

Unified Sports programs include: golf, softball, bowling, soccer, basketball, volleyball and bocce.

If would like more information on how you can assist in breaking down the barriers that historically have kept people with and without developmental disabilities apart, then please contact Special Olympics Greater Memphis.

Click here to download the Unified Partner form.

COVID-19 Resources

All participants must complete a COVID-19 waiver before returning to Special Olympics activities.

Medical Forms

All athletes must complete and submit the following forms for every program in which they participate.