Special Olympics has many thousands of competitions around the world every year. Our athletes train in 30-plus sports in 169 countries. Every two years, there's a World Games competition that shows off the best our movement has to offer. For many of our athletes, attending a World Games is the dream of a lifetime.
For almost 2,700 Special Olympics athletes, that dream is coming true at the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria.
The athletes have trained in their 107 home countries. Coaches have guided their practices. Family and friends have cheered for them.
In March, they traveled to the mountains of Austria. About 1,000 coaches came with them. Our athletes skied, skated, snowboarded, snowshoed, shot balls and shot pucks to see who would win gold.
These World Games marked a return: In 1993, Austria hosted the very first Special Olympics World Winter Games held outside the U.S. (Learn more about how the first World Games in Austria happened.)
A lot has changed since those 1993 Games. In 2017, an even larger worldwide audience got the chance to see the many moments from the Games. ESPN broadcast stories and events showcasing all the brave athletes as they competed in Austria.