Special Olympics

The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year round sport training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympics-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them the opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in the sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympic athletes and the community.


Persons who are eight and above who are considered to have intellectual disabilities as determined by their localities. If the person is identified as having a developmental disability with functional limitations in both general learning and adaptive skills, it must still be determined by an agency or a professional whether or not the functional limitations are solely due to intellectual disabilities or a closely related developmental disability.


Special Olympics is founded on the belief that people with intellectual disabilities can, with proper instruction and encouragement, learn, enjoy, and benefit from participation in individual and team sports.

Buncombe County Special Olympics Offers the following sports:

  • Alpine skiing & Snowboarding
  • Aquatics
  • Athletics (Track & Field)
  • Basketball
  • Bocce
  • Bowling
  • Cheerleading
  • Gymnastics
  • Powerlifting
  • Soccer

Buncombe County Special Olympics Spring Games are held annually in May at TC Roberson High School where students, ages 8 years and up from all schools throughout Buncombe County and adult athletes participate in Track and Field events.

Young Athletes ages 2 years through 7 years may participate in specialized events held on Spring Games day.

Project Unify

Special Olympics Project UNIFY® is an education-based project that uses sports and education programs to activate young people to develop school communities where all youth are agents of change – fostering respect, dignity and advocacy for people with intellectual disabilities.