RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Since 1968, the Special Olympics North Carolina organization has used the power of sports to help improve the lives of children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

This year will mark the first Special Olympic Summer Games in North Carolina since 2019 and will be taking place in venues across the Triangle, including Raleigh, Cary and Holly Springs.

The games will be held June 3-5 with more than 900 Special Olympics athletes and unified partners (individuals without intellectual disabilities) competing in athletic games like basketball, powerlifting, swimming, volleyball, gymnastics and bowling.

A big part of these games each year is the turnout of volunteers—nearly 1,000 of them.

As the athletes are not asked to pay for any costs to participate, this large, state-level competition requires lots of resources from monetary contributions to meals and volunteers pitching in. Support in all of these areas is still needed prior to the games in early June.

Needs include:

  • More than $200,000 in financial support
  • More than 8,000 professionally prepared meals
  • Approximately 1,000 volunteers

Registration for volunteers is now open online and opportunities are available for individuals and groups of 8 or more.

More information regarding individual donations and corporate sponsorships can be found on this support page.

Attending the games to cheer on the athletes will be free to the public and the opening ceremony is set for 7:30 p.m. on June 3 at Reynolds Coliseum on the NC State University campus. The ceremony will feature performances by Special Theatre Arts of Raleigh and the Smithfield-Selma High School drumline.