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Unified Sports®

Team sports bring people together. Special Olympics Unified Sports® teams do that, too and much more. Half a million people worldwide take part in Unified Sports, breaking down stereotypes about people with intellectual disabilities in a really fun way.


300x200 New Jersey Soccer team

Members of the unified soccer team for Special Olympics New Jersey saw the new unified sports legislation signed into law. Learn More

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, which 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, but more and more U.S. states are adopting the unified sports approach that Special Olympics pioneered. The governor of New Jersey just signed a bill into law that encourages schools to make opportunities for sports participation available to all students. Special Olympics New Jersey, which championed the new law, is cited in the new law as a consulting organization. For almost 20 years, Special Olympics has offered sport teams that blend people with and without intellectual disabilities, and that is a model that encourages sports and fun, and which also gets people together to learn more about each other. Read more about the new law in our press release.

Building Unified Sports With ESPN and Disney 

The Walt Disney Company, ESPN and Special Olympics have announced a two-year global initiative that will leverage the power of sports to promote an environment of social inclusion and acceptance through the Special Olympics Unified Sports program. With a multi-million dollar financial and in-kind investment, Disney and ESPN will support Special Olympics’ goal of registering one million Unified Sports participants--athletes with intellectual disabilities, teammates without intellectual disabilities and coaches--by 2015. Read more about this exciting news.

In addition, thanks to the generosity of Special Olympics Board Member Kim Samuel and her family’s foundation, Special Olympics has been able to build capacity for Unified Sports through technology, enhanced education materials and seed grants to Special Olympics Programs that would not otherwise have the funds to start or expand Unified Sports.


Unfied Sports® Stories and News


十一月 14, 2014 | East Asia: China

记特奥融合活动有感

By 王佳怡

今年暑假初始,我参与了由学校组织的东亚地区施莱弗夏令营,与特奥运动员们一起进行融合活动。View Story 今年暑假初始,我参与了由学校组织的东亚地区施莱弗夏令营,与特奥运动员们一起进行融合活动。 本次活动为期一周,主要项目为篮球专项训练。我们志愿者所需要做的就是协助特奥运动员完成训练。 在夏令营开始前,我认为特奥运动员们在一些方面是存有很大障碍的,大部分活动可能都需要志愿者的帮助。可是在亲身体验过后才发现,特奥运动员并不如我们想象中的那么无力。他们都是经过选拔后才来参加夏令营的,可能先前也做过相应的训练,所以在训练开始后,他们大部分都能够自己完成训练项目,志愿者只需要帮他们捡球、传球就可以了。有一些年龄稍大一些的运动员甚至可以上场打比赛了,而且实力也丝毫不逊色于正常人。年级偏小的小孩子有事会在纪律方面做得不够到位,不过也可以谅解,只要耐心的引导他们就可以了。这令我非常惊讶,对他们刮目相看,也同时也很惭愧在看待他们的时候带了偏见。 在一些需要运动员和志愿者相互配合的训练项目中,他们也能够很好地完成。虽然在语言的沟通上有些许障碍,但是我依然可以感受到来自他们的善意与友好,以及与生俱来的运动天赋。 或许造物主在创造他们的时候不小心制造了缺陷,但同时赋予了他们异于常人的其他特长。所以以后在看待别人时不应以貌取人,他们身上总有值得学习的地方。

About 王佳怡:我是一名来自上外附中的学生。我对于志愿者服务有着极大的热情,并渴望能够给予特殊人群关爱。通过施莱弗夏令营我对于特奥运动员们有了更深层次的认识,也希望周围的人能和我一样做到不戴有色眼镜看待特殊人群!
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十一月 14, 2014 | East Asia: China

美丽与梦想

By 水嘉琛

这是我在施莱佛夏令营。

52年以前尤尼斯•肯尼迪•施莱佛女士在她的家乡马里兰洲,为一些智障儿童和成人举办了一次夏令营活动,萌发了创办特奥运动的想法。而52年以后的今天,特奥运动已经取得了巨大的成功。View Story 52年以前尤尼斯•肯尼迪•施莱佛女士在她的家乡马里兰洲,为一些智障儿童和成人举办了一次夏令营活动,萌发了创办特奥运动的想法。而52年以后的今天,特奥运动已经取得了巨大的成功。 我有幸能成为一名特奥志愿者参加施莱佛训练营,和运动员们成为了好朋友,与来自四面八方的志愿者们一同帮助特殊运动员们掌握篮球技巧,增强他们的自尊和自信。 为时五天的训练营,使我感受到了运动员们顽强拼搏、与人为善和诚实守纪的优良品行。从他们的眼神中我看到的是专注,是坚持。作为融合伙伴,我的职责是教会我的运动员搭档—小王,基本的篮球技巧。小王只是一个7岁的孩子,他在投篮时力气甚至还够不到篮筐,即使这样他从来就没有放弃过,几天下来他投了不下300个球。在其它的训练项目中,他也许不能做得最好,但他无疑是最努力的。我特别留意了他的眼神和表情,那是对成功的渴望和自信的笑容,他是成功的。这样的坚持不懈绝对值得我们学习。 在最后一天的比赛当中,我们的小组虽然没有出战,但是运动员们都竭尽全力为伙伴们加油呐喊,为他们增添一份力量。比赛是激烈的,同时也是精彩的。没有人不拼尽全力,挥洒汗水。在球场上的运动员们是最耀眼的,他们分分必争,表现出惊人的拼搏精神。 在场外,运动员们和我交流了他们的理想。他们的理想很充实,也根深蒂固,他们每一天都在为这一个目标而奋斗着。他们有的想要成为一名保安,有的想成为老师,有的想成为宇航员。他们的理想是五彩的,是绚烂的,是无比真实的,而我们普通人又有谁的梦想没有被冷酷的现实所束缚呢? 活动结束后不论是融合伙伴还是运动员,无疑都很享受在一起训练一起比赛的时光。作为志愿者,我的收获也许更多,从运动员身上,我理解了善良,纯真,勇敢,坚持,和拼搏的真正含义。同时,我也由衷地希望人们可以通过特奥看到智障人士的能力和内在的美丽,让这个世界同样为他们喝彩和骄傲。

About 水嘉琛:我是来自上海外国语大学附属外国语学校初三(2)班的水嘉琛,是一名特奥志愿者,在2014年的暑假期间参加了施莱佛训练营。我热衷于参与公益活动,也曾多次参加了特奥的活动。
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八月 08, 2014 | Africa: South Africa

My Special Olympics and Lion's Club 10-Pin Bowling Experience

By Amber Manchest

Bowling was really fun for me and it was my first time. It was really exciting and the Special Olympics South Africa coaches were really nice.View Story Bowling was really fun for me and it was my first time. It was really exciting and the Special Olympics South Africa coaches were really nice. It was also fun at some stages where some of us made some silly mistakes with the ball. I would like to do ten-pin bowling again if I get the opportunity. I enjoyed myself thoroughly. Thanking you. .

About Amber Manchest:
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Got news or a great Unified Sports® story to share? Share with our online form.


Unified Sports® Events


Date

Event

Location

二月 23 - 24 2015

2015 Winter Games - Maryland

Join us 23-24 February 2015 at Whitetail Ski Resort in Mercersburg, Maryland for two days of snowshoe and alpine skiing competition. The alpine skiing events will include: Advanced Giant Slalom, Advanced Slalom, Advanced Slalom (Unified), Advanced Super G, Advanced Super G (Unified), Intermediate Giant Slalom, Intermediate Slalom, Intermediate Slalom (Unified), Intermediate Super G, Intermediate Super G (Unified), Novice Giant Slalom, Novice Slalom, Super Glide, Glide. The snowshoe events will include: 25 meter, 50 meter, 100 meter, 200 meter, 400 meter, 800 meter, 1600 meter, 5 kilometer, 10 kilometer, 4 x 100 meter relay, 4 x 200 meter relay, 4 x 400 meter relay, 4 x 100 meter relay (Unified), 4 x 200 meter relay (Unified), 4 x 400 meter relay (Unified). For more information please refer to the details and contact info below.
For more information
More Details
Mike Czarnowsky
Email:mczarnowsky@somd.org
Phone:410-242-1515
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Ski Whitetail
13805 Blairs Valley Road

Mercersburg, Maryland
UNITED STATES

三月 21 - 22 2015

2015 Basketball Tournament

Join us 21-22 March 2015 in Frederick, Maryland as over 400 athletes and 70 Unified partners from around the state compete in two days of basketball tournament action. Events will include 5 v. 5 traditional competition and well as 5 v. 5 Unified competition. For schedule and location details please refer to link below.
For more information
Schedule Details
Mike Czarnowsky
Email:mczarnowsky@somd.org
Phone:410-242-1515
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Hood College
401 Rosemont Ave

Frederick, Maryland
UNITED STATES

五月 29 - 31 2015

2015 New Mexico State Summer Games

Join us for the largest state competition of the year May 29-31. Athletes from across the state will compete in track & field, bocce, and Unified volleyball at the University of New Mexico Track and Field Stadium. Come and cheer on our athletes and witness the power of sports. Hope to see you there!
For more information
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University of New Mexico Track and Field Stadium
Albuquerque, New Mexico
UNITED STATES

六月 5 - 7 2015

2015 Maryland Summer Games

Join us 5-7 June 2015 at Towson University in Towson, Maryland as our athletes compete in 3 days of exciting summer sports competition. Events will include: Aquatics – traditional individual events and team relays, Unified team relays; Athletics – traditional and Unified track, mini-javelin, high jump, long jump, pentathlon, softball throw, shot put, standing long jump, tennis ball throw; Bocce – singles, doubles, Unified doubles; Cheerleading – traditional and Unified team competition; Softball – traditional team competition, Unified team competition, individual skills competition. For schedule details please refer to the link, below.
For more information
Schedule Details
Mike Czarnowsky
Email:mczarnowsky@somd.org
Phone:410-242-1515
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Towson University
8000 York Ave

Towson, Maryland
UNITED STATES

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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.

LEARN MORE»

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