Special Olympics Utah is more than sports… IT CHANGES LIVES.
Athletes are at the heart of our movement. Our athletes are children and adults with intellectual disabilities from around the state of Utah. By participating in Special Olympics Utah, they not only have the opportunity to develop physical fitness and become competitive athletes, but through sport they build self-esteem, social skills, leadership skills and learn life lessons that translate into their lives away from the playing field. They are finding success, joy and friendship as part of their local communities. And they’re having lots of fun!
Discover the impact Special Olympics Utah has had on our athletes and their families. Click on the name below to read more.
We are always looking for stories about the athletes in our Special Olympics Utah family. Sharing your experiences and successes helps inspire our community and understand the importance of the Special Olympics movement. If you would like to share your story, please send an email to , we’d love to hear from you! Please note: Athlete profiles are used in our marketing materials.
Special Olympics’ Athlete Leadership Programs (ALPS) allow athletes to explore opportunities in roles previously considered “non-traditional”. Such participation might come in the form of an athlete serving on the Board of Directors or local organizing committee, or it might be an athlete as a spokesperson, team captain coach or official. Participation in Athlete Leadership Programs may be in addition to or in place of participation in traditional athlete roles.
A program or initiative could be considered an Athlete Leadership Program if it:
- Allows athletes to choose how they will participate (i.e., selecting their sport or deciding to become a coach)
- Encourages athletes to serve in meaningful leadership roles other than or in addition to that of “competitor”
- Provides training for existing leadership as they welcome and encourage athletes in these new roles
Athlete Leadership Program Initiatives
Below are some initiatives that Special Olympics programs around the world have already instituted. Special Olympics Utah is proud to say that we have athletes in Utah that fit every category listed.
- Athletes on the SOUT Board of Directors
- Global Messengers (spokespersons)
- Athletes as Coaches
- Athletes as Volunteers
- Athletes as Donors
- Athletes employed by Special Olympics Utah
Special Olympics is about breaking down barriers that others thought were permanent. Athlete Leadership Programs are about breaking down our internal barriers that keep athletes from fully enjoying Special Olympics Utah through self-directed, meaningful participation in virtually any aspect of the program.