USA and World Games

Alternating between summer and winter, the Special Olympics World Games are one of the world's largest sporting events, drawing as many, if not more, athletes than the Olympics.

Every two years since 1968, athletes from all nations have gathered to celebrate sport and showcase the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities. This prominent world stage brings attention to the Special Olympics movement and helps create positive - sometimes lifesaving - policy change for people with intellectual disabilities in countries around the world.

In 2006, the first USA Games were held in Ames, Iowa as an opportunity to showcase the talents of athletes from throughout the United States. The USA Games are now held every four years offering summer sports for thousands of athletes to participate in with their peers.

2018 Special Olympics USA Games, SEATTLE
july 1-6

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3,500 athletes from around the country are expected to attend.

Team Connecticut’s delegation of 40 individuals will include 30 athletes, 8 coaches, Lesley Morgan, the Head of Delegation and Amanda Parolise, Assistant Head of Delegation.  Sporting events will offer competition for High Performance athletes in a number of sports at these games and Special Olympics Connecticut’s quota as stated below explains the ages and High Performance standards we will be looking for:

Swimming: 2 Females and 2 Males, ages 16-29 including one High Performance athlete (who must be able to swim 100 freestyle in 01:23.33 or less; or 100 Individual medley in 01:40.38 or less)             

Athletics: 2 Females and 2 Males, ages 16-29 including one High Performance athlete (who must be able to run 100 meters in 13.44 seconds or less; or throw the Shotput 11.21 meters or more) 

Unified Tennis:  2 Females and 2 Males (includes partners), ages 16+

Unified Basketball: 1 High School Interscholastic Team currently competing in the 2016/2017 school based Unified Sports Program

Unified Bowling:  2 Females and 2 Males, ages 22+ including two High Performance Athletes (in a 3 game series, male athlete must bowl an average of 178, female must bowl an average of 150)     

Alternate Shot Golf:  2 Females and 2 Males (includes partners), ages 16+

Special Olympics Connecticut is looking for coaches in all of these sports.  If you are a Certified Coach and are interested in being a member of Team CT, please click HERE for a Coach Application. 

Athlete applications will be sent out to Local Programs for eligible athletes to apply as well.



In order for an athlete or a partner to be eligible for selection to Team Connecticut, they must qualify under the guidelines of Article I., Section K Criteria for Advancement to Higher Level of Competition in the Special Olympics Sports Rules Book as found on As stated in Section K, No. 3.d.1, priority is given to first place finishers from all divisions of the sport/event.

Prior to the selection process, Special Olympics Connecticut requests a quota for either World or USA Games, based upon the sports offered at such competition, number of athletes competing in those sports at SOCT events and interchanging the sports offered over the years to provide increased opportunities.  Quota numbers are based upon budget constraints.

Athletes interested in applying for consideration of advancement to either World or USA Games must complete an Athlete/Partner Application Form to enter into a lottery system for selection to Team Connecticut.  Team sports for USA Games are selected through a try-out process.  All athletes applying for selection to Team Connecticut must have participated in their selected sport in the year prior to the actual application and lottery process.