- Published on 27 February 2015
Athletics events offer a wide range, from the 100 meters and hurdle events to the
marathon, from the high jump to the long jump, shot put, relays and wheelchair events. In addition, Special Olympics offers events for lower ability level athletes to train and compete in basic athletics skills. The development of these key skills is necessary prior to advancing to longer competitive events.
Special Olympics athletes can also participate in Unified Sports® Athletics relay events.Special Olympics Unified Sports is a program that combines Special Olympics athletes and athletes without intellectual disabilities (partners) on sports teams for training and competition. In Unified Sports Athletics, a relay team would consist of two Special Olympics athletes and two partners.
As in all Special Olympics sports, athletes are grouped in competition divisions according to events, ability level, age and gender.
Athletics was an event at the first Special Olympics International Games held in Chicago, Illinois, USA in 1968.
At the 1995 World Summer Games, the marathon was contested for the first time, producing a winning time of 2 hours, 59 minutes and 18 seconds.
At the 1999 Special Olympics World Summer Games, held in North Carolina, USA, 1,363 athletes representing 149 Special Olympics Programs competed in Athletics.
At the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Dublin, Ireland, 1,111 athletes from 148 Programs competed in the sport of athletics; all seven Special Olympics regions were represented.
Athletics was one of the sports which took place in the 1999 1st MENA Regional Games in Egypt, 153 athletes competed in Athletics from Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Syria in competitions of 100, 200, 400, 800 Meter, 4 x 100 Relay, Long Jump and Shot Put.
At the 2000 2nd MENA Regional Games in Morocco, 139 athletes from Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Algeria, Tunisia, Syria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Jordan competed in 50, 100, 200, 400, 1500 Meter, 4 x 100 Relay, Long Jump and Shot Put.
At the 2002 3rd MENA Regional Games in Lebanon,120 athletes from Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Algeria, Tunisia, Syria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Jordan competed in 100, 200, 400, 1500 Meter, 4 x 100 Relay, Long Jump and Shot Put.
At the 2004 4th MENA Regional Games in Tunisia, 121 athletes from Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, Iran, Bahrain, Morocco, Jordan, Yemen, Kuwait, Emirates, Lebanon, Tunisia, Oman, Syria and Iraq competed in Athletics.
Today Special Olympics Athletics is the most popular Special Olympics sport, with 43782 athletes from the MENA region .
100, 200, 400 and 800 Meter Run
Women, 100 Meter
Men, 110 Meter
Relays — 4 x 100, 4 x 400 Meter
400 and 800 Meter Walk
1,500; 3,000; 5,000 and 10,000 Meter
Half Marathon, Marathon
Shot Put —
Women 2.72 kg/6 lbs (8-11 yrs – 1.81 kg/4 lbs)
Men 4 kg/8.8 lbs (8-11 yrs – 2.72 kg/ 6lbs)
Pentathlon (Five events: 100 Meters, Long Jump, Shot Put, High Jump, 400 Meters)
100, 200 and 400 Meter Wheelchair Race
Wheelchair Shot Put—
Women: 1.81 kg
Men: 1.81 kg
The following events provide meaningful competition for athletes with lower ability levels:
Dash: 25 and 50 Meter
Walk: 25, 50 and 100 Meter; 10, 25 and 50 Meter with assistants
Ball Throw for Distance (Tennis ball)
Standing Long Jump
10 and 25 Meter Wheelchair Race
30 Meter Wheelchair Slalom
30 and 50 Meter Motorized Wheelchair Slalom
25 Meter Motorized Wheelchair Obstacle Race
4 x 25 Meter Wheelchair Shuttle Relay