Athletes are the foundation and inspiration of Special
Olympics Orange County. Participating in Special
Olympics helps these individuals develop the
physical, social, psychological and spiritual qualities
that embody the program.
The benefits to athletes include improved physical
fitness and motor skills, greater self-confidence, a
more positive self-image, friendships and
increased family support. Athletes carry these
benefits with them into their daily lives at home, in
the classroom, on the job and in the community.
Special Olympics training and
competition is open to every person
with an intellectual disability.

Special Olympics athletes must be 8
years old to compete, but training
can begin as early as 5 years old.

A person is considered to have an
intellectual disability if that person
satisfies any one of the following

  1. The person has been
    identified by an
    agency/professional as
    having an intellectual
    disability as determined by
    their localities.
  2. The person has a cognitive
    delay, as determined by a
    standardized measure such
    as intelligent quotient (IQ).
  3. The person has a closely
    related developmental
    disability meaning the person
    has functional limitations in
    both general learning and
    adaptive skills such as in
    recreation, work, independent
    living, self-discretion and self-

Persons whose functional
limitations are based solely on a
physical, behavioral, or emotional
disability or specific learning or
sensory disability are NOT eligible to
participate in Special Olympics.
Eligibility Guidelines
Special Olympics Orange County
More than 275 athletes participate in the Orange County
program. In order to register with the local chapter,
athletes must complete:

1.  An SOOC Application Form           

2.  An SOOC Rules of Conduct Form          

3.  Application for Participation in Special Olympics and Release (Medical Forms)
Please print and return completed forms to the SOOC
office at 200 Plant Rd, Chapel Hill, NC  27514 or fax to
200 Plant Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27514. Our telephone number is 919-968-2810 and fax number is
919-932-2923. All e-mails may be sent to Colleen Lanigan, Coordinator, at