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This page draws together powerlifting-related information for all of Special Olympics. The coaching materials and other links will help you get a good sense of how this sport contributes to Special Olympics.

300 x 200 Powerlifting with IPF Logo

Special Olympics is pleased to have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Powerlifting Federation and appreciates the championship competition opportunities the IPF has provided for Special Olympics athletes.View the Powerlifting Fact Sheet

Every athlete aims in lifting more weights than the opponent using specific moves. In Special Olympics Powerlifting is much more than deadlift, squat or bench press. It is effort, persistence and loyalty. Training, determination and attitude, are the key facts that define the balance between a successful or a failed attempt. The barbell, despite testing the physical strength, is also highlighting the athlete’s inner wish to improve, “not to make compromises."

The International Powerlifting Federation, which is the international governing body for the sport of powerlifting, has been supporting Special Olympics lifters for years. In April 2013, the IPF and Special Olympics agreed to work together to grow the sport worldwide for people with intellectual disabilities. For example, Special Olympics athletes competed during the 2013 Women's and Men's World Masters Powerlifting Championships in Orlando, Florida, USA. The IPF has agreed to share its expertise in Special Olympics powerlifting skills workshops.

Powerlifting Stories and News

December 17, 2014 | Middle East North Africa: Egypt

Champion Mariam Naeem

By sanaa monir

On the medal stand

Mariam Naeem is 15 years old. She does aquatics and equestrian as well as bocce. She also works as a TV hostess for a program about intellectual disabilities and also does volunteer work.View Story Mariam Naeem is 15 years old. She does aquatics and equestrian as well as bocce. She also works as a TV hostess for a program about intellectual disabilities and also does volunteer work.

About sanaa monir:I am Mariam Naeem's mother, Sanaa.
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July 29, 2014 | North America: Massachusetts

Anything Is Possible

By Sean Curtis

Been in Special Olympics since I was 8. I love meeting new people from all over the world. I'll do Special Olympics as long as my body will let me.View Story Been in Special Olympics since I was 8. Did it in a few states. (Massachusetts, Maine, Florida, New Hampshire and now back to Massachusetts.) Been on TV and in the newspaper. Met a lot of people in Special Olympics. Met my fiance Stef in Special Olympics. Been on a lot of teams. Love to thank them for pushing me. Paula Murphy, Paula O'Rourke, Dennis Dean Sr, Amy Kirkland and my step dad Dave, also athletes, co-workers and boss. I also did World Games 1999 in North Carolina for powerlifting for Team USA. Met celebs. Got out of my comfort zone and did powerlifting for non-Special Olympics, drug-free. Was 7 time state champ. I love meeting new people from all over the world. I'll do Special Olympics as long as my body will let me. There are still some more stuff I have to do before I hang it up. I did all the sports Special Olympics provided at the time, now there is more. National Games I haven't done. Be on the radio. Also the many other sports. World games would be good. Last but not least, hall of fame. I'm 38 now. I took some time off. But now me and Stef are back in it. See us at an event.

About Sean Curtis:I love to write,draw,travel,family is awesome. Love my pets. Love sports. Love taking challenges head on. Love to cook and bake, love movies and music. Love local. Looking for a team stef and I can be on for other sports. Live in Rutland, ma. Trying to get a job. Love the man up stairs(God) not into politics. Love my girl stef. Love to spread my experiences with other people. It's like a ripple effect. They tell me about theirs. I just want to inspire people. Make them feel good. Listen to them. Help them if I can. Hard work really pays off. Tell them reach for goals they can never get and do it no matter how crazy it is. Prove people wrong. Keep reaching for the stars and you might get one. I'm a fun guy. Can be crazy at times. I love special Olympics world wide. Every team.Team is never TEA-I-M. You are like a group of wolf's you gotta take care of your pack. I called every team I was on family. That's just me. Love ya all. Peace and God bless
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July 25, 2014 | North America: Arkansas


By Karen Bradshaw, Proud Mom and Supporter

Special Olympics is a part of my son's life and will always be. Thanks to the organization for making my son feel that he can compete in sports!View Story Wanted to go back 22 years to where SPECIAL OLYMPICS first entered Blake's life. As he turned 30 this month and still competes. Special Olympics has meant everything to Blake as he loves all sports. Not being able to compete in the "typical" sports through public school, softball throw and 50 meter run came into this little boy's life and the rest is nothing but awesome!!!!! He then went to swimming, which was self taught by me and his father, and excelled for 3 years until, at the age of 16 found PowerLifting and the last 15 years has competed at Area and State levels breaking all kinds of records for himself. By being a powerlifter he has worked out at a local World's Gym for 10 years meeting all kinds of people whom have embraced and shared in his accomplishments. As a mom, I could ask for nothing better!!!! Special Olympics is a part of his life and will always be!!!!! Thanks to the organization for making my son feel that he CAN COMPETE IN SPORTS!!!! Yes he can and has!!!

About Karen Bradshaw, Proud Mom and Supporter:I am a very proud Mom, that has seen her son (Blake) go from a 8 year old softball thrower to a medaled athlete in Powerlifting the last 22 years. WOW, what an impact having Special Olympics has made in his life.
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Powerlifting Events




Feb 5 - 8 2015

Special Olympics Texas Winter Games

We are excited to invite you to the 22nd annual Winter Games! Athletes from across the state have been training for weeks to compete in bowling, powerlifting, and volleyball. In addition, special events such as Opening Ceremonies, Athlete Village, Victory Dance, Closing Ceremonies and various clinics and demonstrations will round out the experience for athletes, coaches and families in attendance. Special Olympics Games bring out the champion in all of us!
For more information
More Details
Tela Mange
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Various Venues
Austin and Round Rock, Texas

March 18, 2015

Southeast Regional Powerlifting Invitational

Join us for the Southeast Regional Powerlifting Invitational at Northville High School on Wednesday, March 18, 2015. Special Olympics Michigan powerlifters from all across southeast Michigan will compete in this event. For more information contact please use the contact info below.
For more information
Joel Smith
Phone:(734) 223-3203
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Northville High School
45700 Six Mile Rd

Northville, Michigan

May 28 - 30 2015

Michigan State Summer Games

The State Summer Games is the largest Special Olympics Michigan event with 2,600 SOMI athletes along with an additional 3,400 coaches, volunteers, chaperones, family members, volunteers and spectators attending each year. The State Summer Games is one of six annual statewide competitions for the athletes of Special Olympics Michigan. The Special Olympics Michigan programs are offered at no cost to the athletes or their families. The State Summer Games are proudly presented by SpartanNash, the only Statewide Premiere Gold Medal Sponsor of Special Olympics Michigan.
For more information
More Details
Aaron Mills
Phone:(989) 774-4393
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Central Michigan University
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan

May 28 - 30 2015

South Dakota State Summer Games

This will be our 47th annual State Summer Games Competition. Approximately 600 athletes are expected to compete in athletics, aquatics, team soccer, individual soccer skills, powerlifting and volleyball. See you there!
For more information
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Johna Thum
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South Dakota State University Campus
Brookings, South Dakota

May 29 - 31 2015

Missouri State Summer Games

Join us May 29-31 for the 2015 Missouri State Summer Games in Springfield Missouri as our athletes showcase their skills over 3 days of sports competition. Athletes will compete in aquatics, soccer, track and field, powerlifting, and volleyball. For more details about the event please refer to link and contact info below.
For more information
More Details
Susan Shaffer
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Springfield, Missouri

June 12, 2015

Virgina State Summer Games

Summer Games, our largest State Games, is nothing short of legendary thanks to the overwhelming support of more than 3,000 local volunteers who brave the summer heat to assist more than 1,300 Special Olympics Virginia athletes each June. Athletes come from all corners of the state to compete in bocce, swimming, softball, track & field, bowling, powerlifting, and tennis at the University of Richmond and surrounding venues in Richmond. We are fortunate to have all of our Event Volunteer needs assigned for this year's Summer Games. We are currently recruiting Volunteer to Cheer fans and Medical Team members!
For more information
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University of Richmond and surrounding venues
Richmond , Virginia

Jun 12 - 14 2015

Illinois Summer Games

Summer Games is Special Olympics Illinois premiere sports competition with more than 4,000 athletes and Unified Partners competing in 6 different sports, along with 1,600 coaches, 2,500 volunteers and 3,300 family members. That totals more than 11,400 people who attend Summer Games! The Summer Games are held at Illinois State University in Normal and the Illinois Wesleyan University campus in Bloomington. A variety of activities are provided for the participants in addition to the sports competitions. Competition will be offered in athletics, aquatics, bocce, Unified bocce, gymnastics, football (soccer) and powerlifting. The public is invited and encouraged to attend any and all parts of Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games. Hope to see you there!
For more information
More Details
David Shindley
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ISU & IWU Campus
Bloomington-Normal, Illinois

Jul 24 - Aug 2 2015

World Summer Games Los Angeles 2015

In July of 2015 more than 7,000 athletes from 170 countries will come to Los Angeles, California for the Special Olympics World Summer Games and enjoy 10 days full of joy, friendship and competition. Athletes will compete in 22 sports. The event expects to attract 500,000 spectators and 30,000 volunteers and 3,000 coaches.
For more information
More Details
World Summer Games Los Angeles 2015
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Various Locations, Los Angeles
Los Angeles , California

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Powerlifting Competitions

2014 Canada Summer Games

The Special Olympics 2014 Canada Summer Games was the largest Canadian Games ever. See results and teams.

2014 USA Games

The 2014 Special Olympics USA Games ran June 14-21. See results and stories.

2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games

Athens, Greece, was the home of the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games. That year, it was the world’s largest sporting event for athletes with intellectual disabilities. See results by athlete, delegation and bib number.

How to Get Involved in Special Olympics

Special Olympics sports training, coaching and competitions go on in more than 170 countries around the world. You can get involved by getting in touch with the closest Special Olympics office.

Special Olympics near you»

Made Possible by The Annenberg Foundation

The Special Olympics movement is profoundly grateful for the support of the Annenberg Foundation which has underwritten the production of the coaches’ guides and resources, supporting our global goals for coaches’ excellence.


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Find events near you and learn about volunteer opportunities at one of our 226 worldwide locations.


Videos and Photos

Coaching in SerbiaCoaches from three countries met in Serbia to hone their skills.See slideshow »

Videos and Photos

In Deep WaterGo feet first for one of the newest Special Olympics sports.See Slideshow »

Videos and Photos

Summer SportsOur athletes run, jump, swim and score in summer.See Slideshow »

Videos and Photos

Power of SportsSports are a powerful way to change our athlete’s lives.See Slideshow »

Videos and Photos

First Unity CupSpecial Olympics uses football to promote understanding.See Slideshow »

Videos and Photos

What We DoSports, health, education, community and more.See Slideshow »


Special Olympics - Become a Fan

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