“Special Olympics means being fit, being nice to each other and making new friends. I have a great time with Special Olympics Yukon.”
- Special Olympics Yukon Athlete, Darby McIntyre
Utilizing sport for a better life
For over 40 years, Special Olympics Yukon has optimized the benefits of a healthy and active lifestyle through sport to improve the wellbeing of individuals with an intellectual disability. To this day, we continue to use this as our main focus.
Special Olympics Yukon is dedicated to enriching the lives of Yukoners with an intellectual disability through sport.
Who We Serve
The focus of Special Olympics Yukon is provide quality sport programming to Yukoners with an intellectual disability.
According to the American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), an individual is considered to have an intellectual disability based on the following three criteria:
- Intellectual functioning level (IQ) is below 70-75;
- Significant limitations exist in two or more adaptive skill areas; and
- An intellectual disability manifests itself before the age of 18.
Adaptive skills are assessed in the person’s typical environment across all aspects of an individual’s life. A person with limits in intellectual functioning who does not have limits in adaptive skill areas may not be diagnosed as having an intellectual disability.
And then, it is the type of disability, in this case intellectual instead of physical, which differentiates Special Olympics from the Paralympics. Although the International Olympic Committee recognizes Special Olympics and Paralympics, they are two separate and distinct organizations.
Athletes, if applicable, must also meet the eligibility criteria described in the following documents:
- Eligibility for Participants with Down Syndrome Policy (this policy describes how a person with a Symptomatic Atlantoaxial instability can participate in Special Olympics)
- Blood-Borne Contagious Infections Policy (this policy describes how a person with blood-borne contagious infections can participate in Special Olympics)
Individuals interested in participating as Athletes in Special Olympics must register with the applicable Chapter, which effectively registers them with Special Olympics Canada, and agree to abide by the sport rules, policies, codes of conduct, philosophies, and practices of Special Olympics Canada and its applicable Chapter.
No Athlete may be excluded from registration because of a prohibited ground identified in applicable Human Rights Legislation, which may include, but not limited to, race or perceived race, nationality, ancestry, place of origin, color, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, class, marital status, family status, religion, political belief, physical or mental disability, economic status or source of income; unless there is reasonable justification or to the point of undue hardship.
Another fundamental difference that sets Special Olympics apart from other sports organizations is that athletes of all ability levels are encouraged to participate. Through the use of equitable divisioning, competitions are structured so that athletes are able to compete with other athletes of similar abilities.
The minimum age requirement for participation in Special Olympics Yukon programs is two years of age.