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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What’s the difference between Special Olympics and Special Olympics North Dakota?

Special Olympics North Dakota is an accredited program of Special Olympics Incorporated. Special Olympics is a state-based organization, and Special Olympics Incorporated is the international organization.

What does the Special Olympics logo signify?

The Special Olympics logo depicts five figures in a unifying circle, symbolizing our global presence. 

The figures have arms in a lowered position, recalling the time when many people were unaware of the talents and abilities of adults and children with intellectual disabilities -- a time before the founding of Special Olympics. The straight arms describe a greater equality and outreach. The raised arms represent "joy" and continued realization of ultimate goals.

Who are Special Olympics athletes?

Anyone who has been identified as having an intellectual disability, cognitive delay, or closely related developmental disability by an agency or professional, and is age eight or older, can train and compete as a Special Olympics Athlete. For more information on athlete requirements, please click here.

Why use the term "Special"?

In the 1960s, when Special Olympics was founded, "retarded" was the acceptable term to describe people with intellectual disabilities. This was a time when people with intellectual disabilities were routinely institutionalized because their gifts and talents were not recognized. 

That's why Eunice Kennedy Shriver wanted to use language that was positive -- language that would help set an upbeat tone. There were many conversations about words that could best describe an exceptional group of people. Eunice Kennedy Shriver saw the adjective "special" as a way to define the unique gifts of adults and children with intellectual disabilities. Starting with the very first Special Olympics International Games in 1968, she wanted to dwell on our athletes' abilities, not disabilities.

Is there a cost to the family?

No fees are ever charged to Special Olympics athletes or their families. The costs associated with Special Olympics training and competition are obtained through community fundraising events.

Where can I find the necessary forms for athlete competition?

To view the required athlete forms, please click here to visit our Forms page.

How can I volunteer my time with Special Olympics North Dakota?

SOND offers numerous volunteer opportunities year-round at our events. For more information on how you can get involved with our volunteer opportunities, please click here.

Can I view photos from Special Olympics North Dakota events?

To view photos from our past events, please click here to visit our Photo Gallery.

Do you have any job openings or internships?

For information about available jobs and internship opportunities, please click here.

Does Special Olympics North Dakota have an endowment to contribute to?

Yes, SOND does have a qualified endowment. Individuals contributing may be eligible for a tax credit in the state of North Dakota. For more information about these donations and tax credit eligibility, please click here.

Special Olympics North Dakota is proudly sponsored by these program partners