Welcome To Special Olympics International!

We are a global organization with programs in 170 countries. This site may be customized by language and geographic region.

Unified Sports®

Team sports bring people together. Special Olympics Unified Sports® teams do that, too and much more. More than 1.2 million people worldwide take part in Unified Sports, breaking down stereotypes about people with intellectual disabilities in a really fun way. ESPN has served as the Global Presenting Sponsor of Special Olympics Unified Sports since 2013, supporting the growth and expansion of this program that empowers individuals with and without intellectual disabilities to engage through the power of sports.

Promoting Social Inclusion Through Sport

Special Olympics is dedicated to promoting social inclusion through shared sports training and competition experiences. Unified Sports joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. It was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding. 

In Unified Sports, teams are made up of people of similar age and ability. That makes practices more fun and games more challenging and exciting for all. Having sport in common is just one more way that preconceptions and false ideas are swept away. 

U.S. States Embracing Unified Sports

Young people with disabilities don't often get a chance to play on their school sports teams. More and more U.S. states are adopting the Unified Sports approach that Special Olympics pioneered.

Unified Sports is also an integral part of the Special Olympics Unified Strategy for Schools, which was founded in 2008 and funded through the U.S. Department of Education to use Special Olympics as a way to build inclusion and tolerance in schools. Unified Sports are now in more than 4300 middle and high schools in the United States.  Seventy percent of Unified Schools (Pre-K through Grade 12) are engaging in Unified Sports!  Also 215 US colleges and universities have Special Olympics clubs on campus, providing ongoing Unified and inclusionary activities for students and Special Olympics athletes.  73 of the 215 US colleges and universities activating Special Olympics College conduct ongoing Unified Sports on their campus.  Learn how to get involved, visit: www.playunified.org.

For almost 30 years, Special Olympics has offered sport teams that blend people with and without intellectual disabilities. That is a model that encourages sports and fun. It also gets people together to learn more about each other.

In addition to establishing support from ESPN, the 'Worldwide Leader in Sports', to become the Global Presenting Sponsor of Special Olympics Unified Sports, additional support for Unified Sports in markets across the world has included support from partners including: Lions Club International, The Kim Samuel Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education and many more.

Our Partners

  • ESPN
  • U.S. Department of Education
  • Kim Samuel and the Samuel Family Foundation
  • Perfect Sense
  • Y&R
  • Burson-Marsteller
  • The Coca-Cola Company
  • WWE
  • NBA
  • MLS Works
  • Uniqlo
  • Seiko
  • NIRSA
  • NFHS
  • EuroLeague
  • UNICEF
  • UEFA
  • FIFA Football for Hope
  • King Baudouin Foundation

Major sports organization, league and event support to Play Unified

Many high-profile, professional sports organizations and events have also showcased Unified Sports as a vehicle to show the power of inclusive sports!  This support includes:

National Basketball Association (NBA),

Major League Soccer (MLS),

Union of European Football Associations (UEFA),

National Collegiate Athletic Association, D-III,

ESPN's X Games Aspen,

National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) and

National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA). 

Quizzes

Unified Sports® Events

  • juil.
    17
    The Kim Källström Trophy
    juil. 17, 2016 - juil. 21, 2016
     
    Gothenburg
    SWEDEN
    The Kim Källström Trophy

    The sixth edition of Kim Källström Trophy will be played between 17 and 21 July 2016. 30 teams, including Unified teams, from all over the world are expected to compete. The Kim Källström Trophy is a co-operation between Gothia Cup, Special Olympics and Swedish national player Kim Källström.

    For more information
    More Details
    Email: info@gothiacup.se
    Phone: +46 (0) 31-50 67 80

    juil. 17, 2016 - juil. 21, 2016
     
    Heden Playing Centre
    Gothenburg
    SWEDEN
  • sept.
    15
    Special Olympics Ukraine III Open Games
    sept. 15, 2016 - sept. 18, 2016
     
    Lviv
    UKRAINE
    Special Olympics Ukraine III Open Games

    The third Special Olympics Ukraine Open Games will involved two days of competitions in nine sports including: Swimming, 5-a-side Football, Floorball, Table Tennis, Unified Basketball, Bocce, Kayaking, and Open Water Swimming. Delegations from across Ukraine as well as other European countries will compete in the Games taking place in the UNESCO Heritage city of Lviv, in central Ukraine. The Games are co-organised by the public youth organisation NGO SAMI.

    For more information
    Contact: Andriiy Porodko
    Email: andriiporodk@gmail.com

    sept. 15, 2016 - sept. 18, 2016
     
    Venues across Lviv City
    Lviv, Ukraine
    UKRAINE
  • sept.
    25
    One More Tri - Unified Triathlon
    sept. 25, 2016
    06:30 AM - 10:00 AM

    New Jersey
    One More Tri - Unified Triathlon

    The 2016 One More Tri is more than a race - it's a Unified Triathlon Experience - where triathletes of all skill levels compete side-by-side with Special Olympics athletes. This race is inspired by a simple principle: the act of competing together ensures a quick path to understanding, acceptance, and friendship.

    For more information
    More Details
    Contact: Jeanene Leppert
    Email: jcl@sonj.org
    Phone: 609-896-8000

    sept. 25, 2016
    06:30 AM - 10:00 AM
    Asbury Park
    UNITED STATES
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