There's a lot going on before, during and after the exciting sport competitions. All of our World Games are lively and full of activity.
Special Olympics World Games are exciting sports events. But they are also fun.
For many of the athletes from around the world, part of the fun is traveling to a new place. Some visitors from hot climates will see snow for the first time. Many will taste foods they've never had.
The organizers of the Games in Austria will show off the beauty of their country and their people. (They've done it before. Austria was host of the 1993 Special Olympics World Winter Games.) It's done through a program called Host Town. For three days after they arrive, our athletes will live in communities throughout Austria. They will learn first-hand how welcoming Austrians can be.
Health Exams and Information
Special Olympics cares deeply about the health of our athletes. Every athlete will have the chance to get a free health exam. Health care volunteers check eyes, teeth, ears, feet and general fitness of our athletes. Athletes get advice on good foods to eat. They learn how to take care of their health. They learn when to seek a doctor for help.
It is a kind of attention many people with ID cannot get at home. Doctors in many places don't want to treat people with ID. Special Olympics trains healthcare workers in free sessions around the world. The training helps spread a message of acceptance among doctors and others in healthcare.
A Conference Focused on Changing Society
There will be a conference for young people focused on ways to make society better. Some attendees will have intellectual disabilities, and some won't. Any young person interested in making a difference in their communities can apply to go. Each will suggest a project to improve the way society treats people with ID. Adults can also apply to be conference mentors.
The conference will be held in Graz from 15 to 20 March. People who attend will meet and learn from experts and each other. They'll talk about their projects. They'll get new ideas and improve their projects. Then they'll return home to put their ideas to work.