The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
Special Olympics Texas is divided into four regions with 19 area offices. Athletes may begin training as early as six years old, but must be eight years old to compete. Athletes must be 12 years old to attend statewide competitions. Thanks to the Young Athletes™ Program (YAP), which launched in 2005, children ages two through seven can participate as an “Athlete in Training” in areas where the program is available.