Special Olympics


Special Olympics Pennsylvania Torch Run

Special Olympics of Pennsylvania provides year-round sports training and competition in over 20 Olympic-type sports for children and adults with mental retardation or closely related developmental disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy.

In Pennsylvania, 25,000 athletes train and compete in over 300 local, sectional, and state events. Athletes can choose to train and compete in over 20 sports, all completely free to them and their families. Alpine skiing, athletics, basketball, bowling, cycling, cross country skiing, distance running, figure skating, golf, power lifting, and volleyball are just some of the sports open to athletes. 

Volunteers are the life blood of the Special Olympics. In over fifty local programs across Pennsylvania, thousands volunteer to serve as coaches, event organizers, officials, athlete escorts, management team members, and fund raisers. Volunteers come from all walks of life, and share one common goal of wanting to make a difference in their communities.

Special Olympics Pennsylvania receives no government funding. The programs are funded by individual donations, corporate sponsorships, foundations, special events, and direct marketing. Sponsors include the PA Chiefs of Police, the Deputy Sheriffs Association of PA, the Fraternal Order of Police, and the PA Department of Corrections. Special Olympics Pennsylvania is a non-profit organization. Donations are tax-deductible.

Police officers from the State College Police Department volunteer their services by providing escort to the athletes running the Special Olympics Torch. Officers also participate by running with the athletes in the torch run to Jeffrey Field on the Penn State University Campus where runners light the cauldron during the opening ceremony for the athletic events, which is usually held in June for the Centre County leg of competition

The Special Olympics is a year-round program, not just a once a year event. If you or your organization would like to become involved with the Special Olympics, please call 610-630-9450. If you would like more information, please contact the State College Police Department's Community Relations/Crime Prevention Section at 814-234-7150 or send an email.

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